Notes: 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!