I’m enjoying some quiet, and not-so-quiet-: ), family time this season. I hope you are too. The subject of the holidays comes up fairly regularly in our Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) interviews and I thought it would be fun to share images and excerpts from a few of my favorites with you. Please write in with your own favorites from the Q.S.O.S. collection. We’d love to hear from you!
Kay Butler, interviewed by Heather Gibson in Dover, Delaware on December 16, 2000 for the Delaware Q.S.O.S. sub-project.
“Christmas Mystery Quilt” by Kay Butler
Detail view of label.
Heather Gibson: Okay, tell me about the quilt you brought today.
Kay Butler: Okay, this is a Christmas Mystery Quilt. We had a Mystery Quilt planned to do in our guild. There were four girls in the group. We were to select the fabric that we wanted, place it in a brown bag, and then pass it on to the next person in the group. And the next person would do a little bit more work, and it’s sort of like a “round robin” idea. And so I started this endeavor with a visit to a quilt shop here in Dover called Rose Valley Quilt Shop. I bought all of my fabrics there, in the Amish Shop, from a very dear friend, Rachel Hershberger. And I had in my head that I wanted a Christmas design. Normally I’m a real purple-lover, a real purple fan. But I thought, ‘I’m going to break from tradition here. I’m going to force myself to think in a different color realm here.’ And I chose what you see here on the end is called the “zinger” fabric. A lot of the quilters will buy a zinger fabric, and they will pull from that zinger fabric the various colors that are in there, like the reds and the greens and the golds that you see. So I bought the fabric. And in the brown bag we also include a journal. Each lady includes a journal, and they write the story of their lives in the journal. And what’s taking place in their lives, if they’re having difficulty with that step of the project that they’ve been doing. And that also documents the quilt and tells a little bit more about the quilt. It was interesting.
Liz Joe interviewed by Herb Morehead in Houston, Texas on November 6, 2011 for the International Quilt Festival Q.S.O.S. sub-project.
“Wise Men Still Seek Him” by Liz Joe
Liz Joe (LJ): The quilt I brought to show today is called “Wise Men Still Seek Him”. I made it to enter into a contest but it was an art festival that was sponsored by our church with a Christmas theme. The name of the show was ‘The Manger, the Magi, and the Majesty of Christ’. Every piece of artwork that was entered had to fit one of those themes and I chose the magi, the wise men. I should say, this was an art show, not a quilt show. This is the fourth year in a row I’ve entered something. It’s always been the only quilt in the show.
Becky Goldsmith interviewed by Jana Hawley in Houston, Texas on October 23, 1999 for the International Quilt Festival Q.S.O.S. sub-project.
“Welcome to the North Pole” by Becky Goldsmith
Becky Goldsmith (BG): This is a quilt that was designed to be published in a book that my partner and I wrote for That Patchwork Place. I made this quilt and it ended up being on the cover of the book.
Jana Hawley (JH): Oh my God. That’s impressive. Have you made lots of quilts?
BG: Yes I have. I started quilting in–I can’t remember the year–probably in 1986 when my youngest child was about– no, it would be 1985, because he was not quite a year old. We had moved. My husband had just gotten out of graduate school and we were poverty stricken. [laughs.] And we got bunk beds for the boys because Jeff kept trying to climb out of his crib. I thought he was going to kill himself. We bought these used bunk beds and I couldn’t go out and afford to just buy the whole matching sheet sets for the bunk beds, so what I did was–I thought to myself, ‘Well I’ll make quilts for these beds.’ That morning in the paper there was printed an article that said, ‘If you want to make a quilt, make it from scraps.’ [laughs.] So that’s what I did. I didn’t research this. I didn’t think it through. I just took it as a message on high to make these quilts. [laughing.] I used up all of the scraps I had ever accumulated from garment making because I had sewn and made garments through the years. My husband was so sweet. He helped me with the cardboard template because it said to make the templates out of cardboard. I made these really long, skinny Drunkard’s Path quilts because I thought it would be easier to use on a bunk bed. They were non-functional. It’s a bad plan for a bunk bed. Quilts have a drop on the side for a reason. I didn’t know that then. [laughing.] After that, my mom got a quilt book and I borrowed it from her then I took a class. From then on, it was much easier.
Resna Ximines Hammer interviewed by Evelyn Salinger in Washington, D.C. on September 27, 2005 for the Daughters of Dorcas Q.S.O.S. sub-project.
Jewish ceremonial cloths: Challah cover by Resna Ximines Hammer
Evelyn Salinger (ES): Good. Nice of you to come today with your things to show. Let’s start out first with your telling me what you have made here.
Resna Hammer (RH): These are two–One of the things that I am actually very passionate about is Jewish ceremonial kinds of cloths. And this is called a Challah cover and it’s used to cover bread on the Friday night dinner. This particular one also I tried to incorporate all of the holidays that would come in the certain period of time. Here this is Hanukkah, this is the symbol for Hanukkah, this is Purim, which is another one, and the pomegranates are for the High Holy Days.
ES: Do you actually use this on Friday nights yourself?
RH: We actually use it on Friday nights.
ES: Every Friday night or just on the holiday time?
RH: Just on the holiday. I have another one for Friday. I believe that the table should be beautiful. And normally what your traditional Challah covers are usually silk and they are painted on and I thought what I wanted to do and what I’ve been doing, a wonderful quilted ones that I just think enhance the day and the ceremony. This also has incorporated in it the seven species, which is in the Bible and that are things that are all incorporated with Shabbes or to do with the Sabbath. What I’ve written here in Hebrew is, it’s like, ‘For all the Miracles that You Perform for Us,’ and ‘We Thank You.’ I wanted it every Friday night to be able to see that.
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Executive Director, Quilt Alliance