I have been thinking about this exhibit for some time now (since last month, actually!!) and it has been one of the most enjoyable exhibits to put together!
Come in and consider the Unsung Hero… or Sheroes as is the case for me. As you all know, I frequently sing the praises of my sweet Nana, and my grandpa’s (maternal and paternal)! But do I have an Unsung Hero lurking about in my past?
Indeed I do! And not just one, but a dozen! And today I would like to share a bit about these amazing women.
First, we have to go way back in time to the late 80’s… I was living with my soon-to-be-husband, who traveled most of the month for work… so I had volumes of alone time. And back then, I was a very regular church attender and I remember vividly the Sunday that the ladies quilting group completed an altar cloth for very special occasions. It was stunning… the work was just incredible. And I remember talking with these amazing artists (all of whom I had known for most of my life) and asking eleventy-billion-questions! And the women said these magical words… why don’t you join us? And so I did! They generally met once a week for several hours – cutting fabrics, sewing, making the “quilt sandwiches”, tying the sandwiches, and then binding the quilts. Oh… and there was always a potluck for lunch (which might have been the best part of the entire day!)
Not only did this group occasionally make gorgeous altar cloths, each year they sewed dozens of quilts for Lutheran World Relief.
And so I joined… a non-quilter, but one eager to learn. I never became as proficient as some of the ladies in that group, but I could cut squares and sew a straight line with the best of them!
But the Very Best Thing Ever, and my favorite part, was was the making of The Tulip Time Quilt Show Quilt! This quilt would be entered in the Tulip Time Quilt Show in Holland, Michigan. It was a Big Deal and they were all hand quilted. There are not enough superlative words to describe how wonderful it was to be sitting around the quilting frame with the dearest of friends as we stitched, talked, and in general… just loved the heck out of each other! We shared joys, sorrows, struggles, heartaches, frustrations, fears… and even the dreaded meal planning wall that we all have hit!! You know the one… where you don’t feel at all creative and are sick of everything you have recently been cooking. Pre-internet days, there was not a vast well of ideas… unless you were sitting around the quilting frame, that is! Some of my best meal ideas came from that group.
The things I learned from those ladies extended far beyond sewing quilts. They knew the importance of supporting each other… in all things. I am a better friend because of them… and my life is certainly richer for all the things they shared with me.
A true friend encourages us, comforts us, supports us like a big easy chair, offering us a safe refuge from the world. — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Those ladies were all that… and so much more.
Thank you so much for visiting today! I hope you can send some time this weekend thinking about the unsung heroes in your life!
See you all back here on Monday!
This is wonderful, Kat, and I wish that you still had that same kinship in Pittsburgh. I wish we all had that same kind of belonging to a group, feeling like they are “our people”, learning from them, and accomplishing something like The Tulip Time Quilt Show Quilt. The blogging community has some of those aspects, but not being able to be with each other in person has its drawbacks. Thanks for sharing your dozen unsung heroes!
Oh, Kat. What a wonderful story. And you’re so right . . . the Tulip Time Quilt Show is a VERY big deal! And what’s so fun to think about . . . is that my mom and I probably ooh’ed and ahh’ed your very quilt, as we always visited the quilt show during Tulip Time. I’m so happy your had that experience with the “quilt ladies” in Holland. Those kinds of connections remain in our hearts and minds long after the physical connection has ended. XOXO
I used to meet with a lovely bunch of knitters several years ago. We met at a Panera, quite a distance from my house. There are much closer Panera’s. We met on Tuesdays, and everyone seemed close, but then someone moved to Wisconsin, someone moved to Arizona, other people began traveling, Panera changed their location about a mile from the first place, then we had COVID. It hasn’t been the same since. 🙁
I’m so glad you found some kinship with those quilters. 🙂
What a wonderful story, Kat! I used to belong to a similar group in my Episcopal church back in NY. Our biggest project was making needlepoint kneelers for around the communion rail. I will never forget that precious community of friends.
that group sounds wonderful and welcoming. What a beautiful gathering of people to uplift each other through life and get a quilt out of it!!
I love this story, Kat. I think that there is nothing quite like the fellowship of a group of women who are crafting. I still miss my group of knitters who used to get together twice a month, but those were pre-COVID, pre-kid days when we could all still be out late on a weeknight!
I’m so happy you had these women in your life to teach you and guide you and share their lives with you. Quilters are a pretty special group, that’s for sure.
What a special group of women to have welcomed you in to the fold–and given what must have been real groundwork for lots of living that came after.
The friendship between women is so important in our lives. Thanks for sharing your story. I love the part where the women said to you, “Why don’t you join us?” What a good reminder to look around and include newcomers.
Oh what a beautiful memory. I always thought the idea of quilting groups and working on a quilt as that group sounded truly wonderful. Something to cherish.