Friendship Album, 1933: Episode 3

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If you haven't listened to the earlier episodes of Friendship Album, 1933, you should start from the beginning of the story!

Welcome back to the Quiltfiction Podcast! In this week’s episode, we present Chapters 7 and 8 of Friendship Album, 1933. If you enjoy this episode and the ones that came before it, please leave your rating and review over at iTunes. It really makes a difference! And don’t forget to subscribe!

We start out this episode with Bess enjoying a cup of Eula’s coffee, so I thought I’d share this fun coffee fact with you: In the 1930’s, 98 percent of American families were coffee drinkers, including 15 percent of children between 6 and 16 years of age and 4 percent of children under 6. I can’t imagine giving a five-year-old coffee, can you? Hard to think of anyone who needs caffeine less…

This is the episode when we finally have all five quilters in the same room and get to see whether or not they play well together. We also get to see the inside of Florence’s house and learn why, at age 27 this lively young woman is still single. Is she really destined to become another Miss Havisham, Dickens’ wealthy spinster from Great Expectations? Stay tuned to find out…

Florence’s parlor is filled with stacks of the latest needlework magazines. Popular titles from the era include House Arts, Needlecraft Magazine, and Modern Priscilla. In the name of research, I’ve collected my own piles of 1930s magazines, which not only have a lot to say about stitching, but also how to live a useful and well-decorated life. Reading these magazines, I have to remind myself that life really wasn’t simpler back in the day, it just seems that way.

Florence makes a reference to the Ladies’ Aid Society, which has come up at least once before in the story. These organizations were dedicated to caring for sick and wounded soldiers during the Civil War. Their members were sock knitters and bandage wrappers—and some eventually became nurses and hospital volunteers. They also collected money to help keep hospitals supplied. During the Great Depression, some of these groups continued their community work by fundraising for those in need. There are still Ladies Aid Societies in existence today, often attached to local churches.

I’ve gotten so many nice comments about the podcast, and many of you have said you feel inspired to make a 1930s quilt. I hope you’ll send me pictures if you do! I’m currently working on a Double Windmill quilt and hope to have the top done by the end of this week. My source for the pattern is below.

See you next week!



  1. Giving caffeine to a child … Good for emergency treatment of asthma … but I can not remember why …. just know it worked. Works on kids with ADHD … has a surprising calming effect … but check with your doctor first.
    As for quilting the closest thing to a 30s quilt I have going is MAKE MY OWN FABRIC STYLE BLOCKS ( aka crumb blocks ) from scraps… I am in a USE WHAT I HAVE mood lately …. I guess it is depression style / frugal quilting count.
    I forgot, I am hand piecing an ISLE OF MAN ROOF TILE wall hanging to go along with a log cabin bed quilt for a friend’s little girl. So I guess that counts as it is hand piecing.

  2. I have a set off Kansas City Star patterns. They can’t really be used as they appear to be photocopies of the patterns from the newspaper. I decided to try and piece one of them, Snowball Wreath. You can see my efforts at The effort was moderately successful, but I had to resort to applique’ as there was no way to piece in the circles. Ruth McDowell talks about piecing in circles and I have done it once, but I couldn’t on this project. I would love to make one block from each of these Kansas City Star patterns, but think it would be better as a group project. Love the quilt on which you are working!

    1. PS Was Godey’s Ladies Book earlier or in the same era? There is a library nearby that has some issues and I keep meaning to go take a look at it. Still on the To Do list. JL

      1. Author

        I’m not sure, but I think Godey’s was a little earlier. I’ll have to look it up. Another popular one was The Farmer’s Wife. I need to order a few off of eBay.

    2. Author

      I have a scrapbook someone made of old newspaper patterns. Since the directions aren’t included (you had to send off for them), I can only use them for inspiration.

  3. I happened upon this today and I have just listened to all 3 episodes. I LOVE it. And now I can’t wait for episode 4.

  4. When I was a kid we were allowed to have coffee. It was probably half milk and sugar and in a cup much smaller than the mugs we use now and it wasn’t a regular thing.

    The regular caffeine vehicle in my house was tea. My mom lived in Scotland for four years with her grandparents after her mother died. Everyone drinks tea there and so did we, also with milk and sugar. Of course, we always had iced tea in the summer. I didn’t know that sweet tea was a thing until I was older but my mother’s iced tea would have made a Southern mother proud.

    I’ve been enjoying the story. It fits right into my commute. But I’m not too sure about having to wait to find out who’s at the door.

  5. I’ve been listening to your podcast for ages and love it. Now I’m loving Friendship Album 1933! I’m not normally a commenter (except in my head!), but in your podcast you asked listeners to let you know of any inconsistencies we happen to notice, and I did hear what I consider an anachronism. Near the end of episode 3, Florence is said to “grab a pen and something to write on.” In 1933, she would most likely “grab” a pencil. The ubiquitous ball point pen didn’t get a patent until 1938 and was not commercially produced in the US until after WWII. Fountain pens were expensive and and relatively fragile and probably kept safely in a writing desk drawer to be used for letters and document signatures. Pencils, though, were very common. I know I’m being picky, but, hey, I’m a copy editor. : )

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