Wednesday, January 23, 2013

GSQ Friendship Quilt

Every year members of Garden State Quilters make a friendship quilt and those who work on it get to put their name on a piece of paper for a drawing at the Strawberry Supper in June. When my friend Rachel Cochran was president of the guild in 1996 I was in charge of the Friendship Quilt.

My idea was to make a New Jersey-style 1840s quilt set on the diagonal with leaves around the outer edges. The block idea came from the Mary P. Allen Album Quilt in Sandi Fox's book, For Purpose and Pleasure, p. 46-48.

Natalie Hart provided some of the red fabrics and when Rita Erickson and I were at the Quilters Hall of Fame celebration in 1995 I purchased 1/2 yard of the blue oak leaf stripe but had no idea at the time what I was going to use it for. Well, it was the perfect stripe for the sashing in this quilt but I needed more. I called the fabric store in Marion, IN, where I thought I bought it and they had no idea what I was talking about! Fortunately, Natalie found it at Joanne Fabrics right here in NJ.

My intention was to have everyone sign their name and/or draw a picture for the center square in each block. I drafted the block pattern and made up several samples so I could experiment with placement and color. Susan McKelvey, author of Friendship's Offering was coming to lecture at our meeting and do a workshop on writing on quilts so it was the perfect opportunity for anyone who wanted to get some ideas and learn a new technique. 

I put together 85 packets with fabrics and instructions and began selling them at the October meeting for $3.00 each. Blocks had to be returned by the January meeting and when they started coming in I was thrilled to see such creativity! 


Natalie put her signature in a leaf motif. 


Rachel added books.  


Rita Erickson did a sheaf of wheat.


Irene Aspell drew horses. 

Mary Lou Nichols did a sunflower.

And Sylvia Morgenstern drew an Iris.

Natalie and I assembled the quilt in January and then turned it over to guild member Lois Griffith who added the backing and sent it out to be quilted. It was hand quilted by Mattie Hershberger, an Amish quilter in NY state. By the May meeting it had been returned and I put the binding on Memorial Day weekend. The quilt was done on May 30, 1997--label and all.

Guild member, Anna Lega, won the quilt at the June meeting. Lucky her!

Copyright 2013, Barbara Schaffer


  1. Those were the days. . . Thanks. R

  2. Hard to believe it was 17 years ago ~ doesn't seem possible!

  3. What fabulous inkings! this was before my time with guild - it's lovely!!