Friendship Album, 1933: Episode 22

As I recorded this chapter, I realized that one of the main threads in Florence’s story is about how much control she has over her own life. Sure, she’s an independent young businesswoman, but she’s also a woman. Neither of her brothers are ogres, but they clearly feel she needs overseeing. As for Arthur Purefoy, on the one hand he’s been an enormous help in getting the Milton Falls Quilting Company on its feet. On the other hand, it’s possible he’s starting to have some proprietary feelings–about the business and Florence.

I assume at some point — maybe in this book, maybe the next (because I’m starting to think I’m not going to be able to finish up this story in one book) — Florence is going to have to think seriously about what it would mean to her career if she got married. This is going to call for research, so if you know of any good books about women business leaders in the 1930s, let me know!

Thanks to Quiltfiction Club member Virginia for letting me know that these two women are the grandmothers of a quilt shop owner in Ortonville, MI. The shop is called Mabelena’s—the women’s names are, of course, Mabel and Lena.

Have you wondered what’s going to happen with the Sears “Century of Progress” quilt contest? Lest we forget, this was a real contest, with a real winner — and an interesting twist at the end. I’m not going to give anything away here, but let’s just say that the first round of judging didn’t take long!

I’m curious — do you enter your quilts into contests? I just entered two into QuiltCon, one of which was rejected last year, but I thought I’d give another chance with a new crew of judges. As someone who has judged writing contests, I can tell you at some point the judging becomes — well, not arbitrary, but it’s rare that a story wins because it’s heads and shoulders above the stories that came in second and third place. In the end, it’s a matter of taste. Not arbitrary — the top five and six stories are usually better than the rest, but it’s quite possible another judge would have picked another winner. Same with judging quilts, I assume.

I almost didn’t enter this year. I had two quilts at QuiltCon two years ago, and it was exciting, but also provoked a lot of anxiety — how would my quilts look next to the other quilts, what if they were all wrinkled by the time they made it to Savannah, what if the judges made a horrible mistake? When neither of my entries got in last year, it was a bit of relief, to be honest. So we’ll see what happens next year. It’s fun to have a goal to work towards, but it’s also fun just to make quilts for the heck of it.

We’ve got two more episodes of Friendship Album, 1933, before we finish the current section and take a break for the holidays. However, as a Christmas treat, I’ll be posting a special Milton Falls Christmas story!

One last thing: Monday is the start of our 12-Days-of-Christmas Giveaway! The prizes are amazing and include everything from a membership to the Quilt Show to a subscription to Quiltfolk, to fabulous fabric, patterns, notions and books. The cool thing is, you only have to sign up once and you’ll be entered in each day’s drawing. So get over to our Giveaway page–you just might win!


  1. Making a quilt that I think I might enter in a quilt contest forces me to work on my quilt skills and I always learn something but boy is it nice to just relax and make quilts for the fun of it. I just entered a quilt in the spring Paducah quilt show. We will see!

    1. Author

      Good luck! I’m too scared to enter Paducah–but maybe one day?

      One thing that keeps me from submitting my quilts to too many contests is that I know I’ll have to bury my threads!

  2. I’ve never entered a quilt in a show. I’ve only made one quilt by request from a friend….a memory quilt…after her father passed away. It was pretty stressful on me as I wanted it to be something that she would cherish. I prefer the more relaxed process of making quilts for just pleasure.

    1. Author

      That’s why I could never make quilts to sell–SO stressful to sew for other people! I prefer quilting for pleasure, too.

      By the way, I didn’t know that posting about my own podcast was against the rules on Quilting Board–yesterday I posted about the giveaway and got banned for life! I wish I’d asked you about it first!

  3. While I love your idea and have entered the contest, I’m wondering if you realize that the “twelve days of Christmas “ are the 12 days between Christmas and the Epiphany (Jan 6) not the twelve days before Christmas.

    1. Author

      Glad you entered the contest, Marie! And yep, I know we’re on the wrong side of Christmas with our twelve days, but it’s such a fun way to organize a giveaway, and it wouldn’t be the same after Christmas.

      Having said that, I love the practice of starting the Christmas season Christmas Day and celebrating it for the next twelve (eleven?) days. I don’t actually start feeling Christmas-y until around December 23rd, so starting the season the day after Thanksgiving never feels right to me.

  4. No quilt contests for me so far. I don’t think mine would win because I make mostly reproductions of 1930’s or Civil War and those are not popular in my neck of the woods.

    1. Author

      Hi, Sharon–you might have some luck entering national shows, but that gets expensive. I love repro fabrics, tho I don’t use them much.

  5. I love the old pictures. I especially like this one with the 3 boys looking on and one not looking at all. Those boys look very interested in the pattern. The clothes are so 40’s.
    All the ladies look like they are wearing their Sunday best. What do we look like while we are quilting? I barely comb my hair., and quite often i am still in my PJ’s. LOL . I do get more done if I get dressed like I am going to work.

    Loving your stories.

    1. Author

      Those boys are interesting, aren’t they? They look like they’d really like to get in on some of that quilting action!

      I get more done when I get dressed first thing, too–but like you, I’m still in my jammies! Time to get dressed? I guess so (sigh …).

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