Welcome home to Milton Falls, Ohio…

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By Frances O’Roark Dowell

If you like quilting stories, then I’ve got some good news: The Quiltfiction Podcast is up and running! We’re going to begin with Friendship Album, 1933, a work of historical fiction by me, Frances O’Roark Dowell. Friendship Album, 1933 is not available in bookstores, in case you’re wondering, although it might be one day. Right now the only way to experience the story is via this podcast–and I really hope you’ll tune in!

Let me give a you a brief introduction.

The idea for Friendship Album, 1933, came to me after reading Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 World Fair: The Sears National Quilt Contest and Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition by quilt historians Merikay Waldvogel and Barbara Brackman. I’ll write more about the Sears National Quilt Contest in later posts, but suffice to say that with its $1,000 grand prize (nearly $20,000 in today’s dollars), a lot of women were inspired to enter the competition.

Five such women make up Friendship Album’s circle of quilters:

Eula, whose family has been forced by hard times to leave the farm and move into town, where she doesn’t know a soul and is pretty sure she’ll never fit in…

Bess, a widow of one year, who shows up at the first meeting as a way of avoiding duty on her church’s altar guild and her neighbors’ constant condolences…

Dorothy, a woman trying hard to keep peace in her home and her sewing scissors away from the lively young grandchildren who’ve just moved in…

Then there’s the bee’s youngest member, Florence, living the life of a bored socialite after being jilted by her fiancé. Can starting her own quilt business turn her life around?

And, finally, Florence’s sister-in-law, Emmeline, who’s fresh out of material for her weekly quilting column and hopes to find inspiration in this odd collection of quilters. When the group members hear about the Sears Quilt Competition, they all make plans to enter, although for different reasons, not all of them to do with the prize-money.

In Friendship Album, 1933, we follow the characters in their own lives as well as when they gather together to sew.

Comments

  1. Wanted to let you know I really enjoy your podcast and listening to the Friendship Album 1933. I travel a ways to work and back and listening to the story helps shorten my travel time. Now I plan on making a 1933 quilt. Haven’t decided which one yet, have a few UFO’s to finish up first. I have some vintage sheet Fabric that I plan on using for a quilt. A vintage quilt pattern will be perfect for the sheet fabric.

  2. Your writing and reading are totally enjoyable! I’m so pleased to have come across your QuiltFiction podcast – it is wonderful! Thank you! I’ve been mending while listening – a totally delightful time!

  3. I have listened to the first 3 episodes and am hooked. I am enjoying the story and the reading of it. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for your story . The podcast is wonderful . Your voice is amazing and I can’t get enough . I quilt along with your reading . Again thank you .

  5. Just discovered this site. I’m on the 5th episode. Love your story so much! I listen as I quilt along. Thanks so much!

  6. Just discovered your site. I’m on the 5th episode and loving it so much. I am quilting along as I listen. Love the characters! Thanks so much.

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