Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Few Special Little Trifles

In 1847, Betsey Wright opened a thick envelope addressed to her. She carefully unfolded a lovely quilt block with this inscription:

"Accept this trifle that I send,
Not as a stranger, but as a friend."

                      - Charlotte N. Follett,
               Hubbardson, Mass., 1847

You can imagine what a special gift that was to her and how it touched her heart, to hear from a dear friend who lived in another state. When my mail came today, I had a similar experience, but 50 times over! Fifty signature blocks from members of my Yahoo group arrived. Oh my goodness - you have to see this.

Aren't they beautiful??

We held a signature swap/exchange a few months ago and there were 50 in my group. So I made and signed 50 blocks, most of them different, and sent them off to the Swap Hostess. And today the blocks from others from all over the world came back, beautiful as can be. I apologize for not being able to show all of them to you. You'll surely be able to see the quilt someday whenever I finish. it. Even though the group focuses on our love of small quilts or doll quilts, this quilt made with these blocks (4 1/2") will be anything but a small quilt!  I may add sashing or setting blocks or embellish it a little with some applique, who knows? What a wonderful addition to my growing UFO collection and I really hope I am able to get to it soon.

I love signature quilts and the stories they tell. According to the book Remember Me by Linda Otto Lipsett, besides names, the quilts often held loving messages from friends and family. In 1853 Susan Tenney wrote on her signature quilt - "To Mrs M -- , "Remember all who love Thee and all who are loved by Thee.' "

Sometimes Friendship blocks came with wonderful long verses: 

"Accept my friend, this little pledge
Your love and friendship to engage
If ere we should be called to part
Let this be settled in your heart
That when the little peace you see
You ever will remember me."

                                 -  M.E.A.

*     *    *

On a little depressing note - Spring is still not here yet in northern Illinois if you can believe it. I ran out to do some errands early this afternoon and was very upset that the trees STILL do not have any leaves and hardly any buds. Look at that sky - very gloomy.

When I finished doing some grocery shopping and walked out to the car, I couldn't believe it - it was snowing!

C'mon already. I do love snow but . . . . in NOVEMBER or December, not mid-April.

Looks like rain, but trust me, it was definitely snowing this afternoon. Have a great weekend. Yuck.


Grandma Rita said...

Here in Northwestern WI we had about an inch of snow last night and today it has been very cold and gloomy. It's so depressing, we desperately need sunshine to change our outlook on life! The quilt blocks in your photo were my ray of sunshine today, thanks!

Victoria @ BUMBLE BEANS said...

LOVE ALL YOUR SIGGY BLOCKS!!! I'm making one right now... Sentimental indeed!

Merilyn said...

What a lovely package of siggie blocks!!! They certainly do look wonderful, I'm sure you will do them justice no matter which layout your choose!
Snow, just the thought of it makes me shiver! We are definitely into Autumn now, last week we had perfectly beautiful days, but this weekend it is rainy and probably will stay that way over Easter as it usually does! I hope things warm up for you guys soon!!

Marsha said...

The blocks for your signature block swap are wonderful and they will make a beautiful quilt. Hope it doesn't take too long to finish, I can't wait to see what you do with them. April snow, I remember that! About 27 years ago we had an early April snow in Northbrook and I was 9 months pregnant and out shoveling snow! My daughter was born less than two weeks later! Hope you see warm sunshine and spring flowers blooming soon.

marian said...

oh,oh,oh, i can't wait to get my siggy blocks..they look wonderful!!

Heather said...

Look at all those lovely blocks! Mine are not here yet, but now I am even more excited for them to arrive! And I must say, your spring looks MUCH better than our spring. If you have a moment, check out today's post on my blog for some very snowy pictures! ACK! I would much rather have some rain at this point! As long as it doesn't freeze after!

Anonymous said...

Have fun with your little blocks. We had snow here in Michigan today too. Didn't stay but still, enough already!


Nicky said...

Beautiful little blocks but isn't it strange to have signatures of people you do not know?

Me and My Stitches said...

I just love all of the little signature blocks - can't wait to see what you decide to do with it. I think spring is heading your way - I woke up to sunshine this morning in Iowa. Yay!

Cheryl said...

I received my signature blocks yesterday as well. It was fun to see where they all came from. Good summer project!

Anonymous said...

I remember the Easter I wore snow boots to church with my new Easter bonnet and dress.... great memeories...... and since I have been hot, Hot, HOT for the last 40 years 9 months of the year.... snow even in April sounds like heaven.....

Kathleen Tracy said...

Nicky - A lot of these women ARE my friends since there is a quite a bit of chatter on the Yahoo group and we get to know each other, so they are NOT strangers at all! Yes, very strange but kind of like pen-pals in a way.

Christine said...

Have no fear, Central Indiana is starting to green up. It will be up your way in no time.

Anonymous said...

I got all my blocks too, the washed and unwashed and I'm so happy to get each and every one of them. Even if I don't know all the people I know they share the love of making little quilts with me so that makes us all Kindred Spirits. Right!

Heartsdesire said...

Your signature blocks will make a wonderful quilt and it was fun to see the fabrics that everyone used and then check my stash to see if I had any. Sorry about your weather. It is rather depressing even here on the west coast of British Columbia. The sun is shinning today, but it is still quite chilly. And even though there are flowers and trees blooming, we still had frost last night. Hopefully, your spring is on its way.

Beth said...

Your siggy blocks are just beautiful. Isn't it cool to make friend online? Now you will have all those lovely blocks to remember your quilt buddies by.
Isn't this weather nuts? I am afriad to complain too much since so many areas have spring but they have also been having horrible storms and tornados.
Happy stitching.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I too got quite a shock yesterday afternoon in the far western suburbs with the snow. I want sunshine and spring flowers. Love the blocks. What a great day (minus the snow).

Linda C said...

l am waiting patiently for my blocks, and pleased to see my name floating there on the top. And l don't think it strange at all, that while we have never met, there is a very strong connection through quilting.

Radka said...

All your litle blocks, how interesting:) But I don't think much of your weather!

Jelly Roll Fabrics said...

I adore your blocks!! What a great idea. Also, I too am in Northern Illinois... snow today? Really? I know you feel my pain, although perhaps you're further west and missed the mini snowstorm this morning!


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