"As you all know, Flo will be moving to Fredricksburg later this year to be near her daughter," Alma began with the background of the upcoming project. "It's been hard for her since Frank died, but she knows it's going to be the best thing for her. Sue, as a new member, I know you haven't had much time to get to know Flo, but she is one of the founders of The Courthouse Stitchers, and is always the first to pitch in and support every project, fund raiser and whatever else needs doing."
She continued to outline the project by handing out the templates, block dimensions and instructions for piecing blocks for the Signature Scrap Fan Blocks we were each to make. "Now quickly, before Flo gets here, I want to remind you to make use of the Grand Jury Room Stash. I've already cut the muslin squares, here's a list of names we want embroidered on the blocks...pick four plus your own which will make five fans for each of our current members to make. That way everyone who has been a member since the founding will be represented. Also, very important...this is a secret, " Alma quickly took her seat and gave us the 'Secret Shush Sign' as Flo walked in the room dragging a rolling suitcase stuffed to the gills.
Five Scrap Friendship Fan blocks!!! Where will I find the time? No matter, I'll manage somehow. I can rotary cut the fan pieces ten or twelve at a time, chain piece them to make the half circles and glue baste the raw edges. It will be the hand applique that will be time consuming. No matter. It will become a family heirloom for Flo just as great grandmother Nancy Anne's was for her and now for me. All this was running through my mind as I tucked the handouts Alma had given each of us into my Quilt Bag while the others gathered around Flo and her overflowing Fabric Shop on wheels.
I joined the group as Alma was saying with an excited voice, "My goodness Flo, what have you been up to with all this fabric?" Flo unzipped the bag and with a sweeping gesture over the collection of fabrics said, "I've sorted through my Stash and brought this for the Grand Jury Room Stash."
Everyone was talking at once with exclamations of "Oh, Flo, how very generous," and "You know it will be used and treasured," "What a sweetheart you are, Ooooo, I love this one." and lastly from Josephine, "Flo, you know you will find another group in Fredricksburg. I hope you have saved some of your stash for the quilts you will surely make in your new home."
Flo thought for a moment and with a musical laugh and a wink said, Oh, Jo, I'll be just fine, Frank made sure of that. Several years ago he gave me a sign for my sewing room that said....
My Husband lets me Buy all the Fabric I can HIDE!
History of Friendship Quilts...The quilts homesteaders brought with them were a comfort to many a Pioneer woman who traded her home, family and friends in the East, for the uncertainty of traveling through vast prairies in the West. A quilt that held special value to the pioneer women was the Friendship Quilt. Often done in secret, and then given to the woman as a going away gift. It usually was a group effort, with each block being sewn by a friend or relative with their name embroidered in the center. Putting a Friendship quilt on the bed, gave a woman a sense of connection with her former way of life. It kept alive the memory of family and friends, providing comfort and company during the difficult days of homesteading. One woman homesteader said, "When I get lonely, I read the names on my quilt." Quilt Discovery Experience
See Ya, Monday, April 8th for the Letter G...The Grand Jury Room