Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Friends Forever

In 1985 I was at the American Quilter's Society first annual quilt show in Paducah, KY, where I took a class given by Elly Sienkiewicz, author of Baltimore Beauties and Beyond. She taught various techniques for making new Baltimore album-style quilts and suggested using fabrics that were large-scale, allover prints which were certainly different from what I was used to working with--thus the challenge! When I decided to make a quilt using her techniques, I purchased an assortment of large-scale fabrics at the Great American Quilt Festival in NYC that I thought might work for the four blocks in the center. The border blocks were adapted from an antique quilt Cut-Paper Cockscomb that I saw in American Quilts and How to Make Them by Carter Houck and Myron Miller. But I didn't want these border blocks to be empty so I copied verses from autograph books--my grandmother's, my mother's, mine, and my daughter's--I had all four.
Four generations of autograph books. 

Friends Forever took two years to make. It is hand-pieced, hand-appliqued and hand-quilted. 
 The block for my grandmother, Ethel Strubbe Bower.
From my grandfather, Stanton M. Bower, to his future bride, Ethel Strubbe, in 1905.

The block I inscribed with the same verse.
 The block for my mother, Etta Bower Davis.
To my mother, Etta Bower, from her friend Anna Beatty, June 23, 1922. 
The block I inscribed with the same verse.
 The block with my name, Barbara Davis Schaffer.
From my good friend, Marilyn Dittmore, a twin.
 The verse I inscribed from Marilyn.
 The block for my daughter, Connie Schaffer.
To Connie from her friend, Beth Modell.
 The block I inscribed with Beth's verse.
The back of the quilt with a block that just didn't work on the front.
What I love most of all is the page in my autograph book written and illustrated by my grandfather, Stanton M. Bower in 1955.

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