Still working on sewing all those diagonal rows together for Message in a Bottle. I have two sections sewn together, and will get the five rows of the third section together this week. It is coming along!
As I look at this quilt top, I am thinking what a great Friendship quilt it would make. You know, one of those quilts for some special occasion (anniversary, wedding, 75th birthday), where friends and family members sign a square that is part of a larger quilt block. These quilts were very popular in the days when young women would pack their worldly goods into a covered wagon, hit the trail Westward, and very possibly never see their loved ones again.
I made one of these Friendship/Autograph quilts for Sara's bridal shower (different block, same concept) and had all her girlfriends sign a fabric square, which I then incorporated into a quilt block. I used an April Cornell fabric collection, and the quilt was as feminine and sweet as can be. The quilt lives at Sara's house, but I will see if I can get a picture of it and share it later this week. It really is super cute.
What I remember most about making that quilt is that it was like herding cats to get people to sign the squares and mail them back to me. I sent the fabric square, a micron pen, and a self addressed stamped envelope to everyone. All they had to do was sign their name on the damn square and mail it back to me. How long could that take? I was hounding at least four girls down to the very last minute to get them to mail me back their squares. I finally told them they would end up on the back of the quilt if they didn't get their squares to me within a week. I tell you I burned the midnight oil getting that quilt finished for the shower because of those lazy girls!
The first Friendship quilt I was ever involved with was maybe 40 years ago. Some dear friends of the family were relocating to Argentina, and it was felt that the occasion warranted one of these Friendship quilts. Back then, you couldn't really get decent quilting fabric, so the quilt blocks were just big plain squares that were signed or decorated with drawings or poems and sewn together. We backed it with a bed sheet. It was actaully rather dreadful, but our effort truly came from the heart. Ultimately, these friends ended up moving back to California a few years later! I wonder whatever happened to that pitiful quilt?
One of my cousins organized a similar project to celebrate my Grandma Agnes' 80th birthday. Everyone she ever knew or was related to signed a fabric square and it got made into a quilt. Funny, now I can't remember if I made the quilt or if my cousin did. I believe my cousin must have. The gift was a huge success, and my Grandma lived another 19 years, enjoying that quilt. And you know what? She was buried in it! No kidding. Wrapped in the signatures of everyone she loved.
Have any of you been involved in making a Friendship quilt? How did yours turn out?