So here I am starting again. I do have a quilt to share that sort of fits the theme of those old quilts I was going to write about because--as they were--it is a one-block quilt from that same era. I don't really think of these as minis--just a framed block. (This one is 18 inches square, machine pieced and hand quilted with cotton thread. The batting is a very lightweight polyester made by Mountain Mist, I think. It was a dream to quilt.)
Given the colors and style, you probably can tell I made this in the 1980s, the summer of 1986, in fact. The block has a number of names, but I chose to use "Hand of Friendship." You see, that year I was the stay-at-home mom of a preschooler and a toddler. We often took walks around our neighborhood. We liked our neighborhood, but there weren't a lot of people our ages. One day, as we were walking around the corner of the next block, a woman came running out of her house to introduce herself. She and her family had recently moved in. She didn't know anyone nearby, but had seen our little family on our walks. She was watching for me. It turns out that we were both a little starved for some adult contact during the day as well as some playmates for our children. Her son and daughter were just a bit younger than my daughter and son. Soon we were spending lots of time together. In fact, her son developed a little preschool crush on my daughter. It was wonderful. And then came the day not long after we met that she told me her family was moving because of a job transfer. To Florida.
Of course, my way of handling the disappointment was to make her a little quilt. And because it was the 1980s, and my idea of Florida was sherbet colors and warmth, I chose pastel country colors from my stash for a Hand of Friendship block. I wanted her to embrace Florida as her home but not forget her time in Michigan, so I chose quilting designs to represent both states: a pine tree and a snowflake for Michigan and a sun and a shell for Florida. In the border, I quilted waves--for Lake Michigan and the Atlantic Ocean.
I wish I could tell you that our friendship has continued to this day, but that was not to be. After her move, we kept in contact for awhile, writing letters and exchanging Christmas cards. (It was before the era of social media.) Our friendship was in its infancy, so as our kids grew and we got involved in other things, it was hard to keep the friendship alive long-distance. Her husband's job required a few more moves. One Christmas, she wrote that they were moving again. There was no return address on the envelope and when I wrote later to the previous address, the letter was returned with no forwarding address, and we lost contact.
Life moves on, but it's nice to remember this little friendship at a time when we both needed it. I still have a photo of our kiddies taken just before the move. That, and these quilt photos are sweet mementos, but isn't it wonderful that social media makes it easier to keep in touch these days?
As always, I'm linking up with Sandra at mmm! quilts for Throwback Thursday. I'll be back next month with more TBT quilts from my tiny quilting career (yes, there are enough for at least a couple more posts), and today I found more loose photos from my personal quilting, so it looks like I'll keep sharing TBTs for a little while yet this year.