Old Things are like Old Friends;

Returning home after months away is a bit of a reunion.  Of course, it’s saying hello to neighbors and friends as you might expect.  Beyond that is the reunion with familiar things – my favorite tea cup, pictures on the wall, my comfy chair, and my treasured Friendship Quilt

You may have some idea what a friendship quilt is.  Mine uses the pattern known as Jewel Box and is comprised of many jewel-toned pieces of fabric set off with pure white. 

This quilt began as an internet swap with other online quilters.  It was planned by one person, known as “Mother”.  She chose the pattern and decided on the size of each block.  The invitation then went out to all quilters in that group to make up one or more blocks and mail them to “Mother”.  After the designated time period, Mother sorted all blocks received and mailed a packet to each participant.  If you sent in 10 blocks, you got 10 different ones back and so forth. 

The variety of colors and patterns delighted me.  These quilters were unmet friends that I like to speculate about.  Looking at the fabrics used, I can see some quilters loved florals, some used geometric patterns, some just vibrant solids.  Some blocks are carefully color co-ordinated, some were just scrappy – a mish mash of what looked good together.  Most signed their names, some added their state or province, some their entire email address.   

There weren’t enough swap blocks for an entire quilt, so I made up more leaving the white portion of each block blank.  This took several years as I was still working then.  Once I retired, I put them all together into a quilt top.  I took it around to current friends and neighbors who were nice to sign the plain blocks.  

In my highschool days a popular object was the autograph hound.  It was a fabric covered stuffed dashhound about 12-15 inches long.  Does anyone remember them?  We had friends sign the dog with an ink pen and it became something to go with you to college to remind you of friends of earlier years. 

Now, as I lay under the quilt, I feel the love and friendship of each signature.  I can look at them, touch them and renew the memories I have with each signee.  ~pam

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