It’s That Time of Year…

 

Dollars for Scholars presentation at the Palmyra-Macedon High School, Palmyra, NY, 2014

Dollars for Scholars presentation at the Palmyra-Macedon High School, Palmyra, NY, 2014

About a week and a half ago, I attended and presented at a Dollars for Scholar’s award ceremony. For those of you unfamiliar with this program, scholarships are set up, typically by community members, organizations and businesses, which are then awarded to deserving high school seniors in that community. The school both Sue and I graduated from is the Palmyra-Macedon High School in Palmyra, NY. The Dollars for Scholars program there is one of the most successful there is. Our school is not large. The graduating class typically has between 175-200 students. This year, well over $100,000 was awarded. Since inception at our school, $1,528,000 has been awarded to 1,770 students. I think that’s pretty awesome. I was there for two reasons: one, my class (the very fun class of 1976) gives a scholarship for spirit and two, my family awards an art scholarship (The Alderman Art Scholarship) given in memory of my mom, Betty Alderman.

Graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY

Graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY

Graduation is a time of quilt giving, don’t you think? My sister-in-law, Nancy Alderman, living in Texas, made a graduation quilt for her nephew in blues and oranges as he heads off to college, a college whose colors are – you guessed it – blue and orange. And where did the fabrics come from? O’Susannah’s! And that got me thinking again and I remembered the quilt my mom made for my daughter, Jessica, when she graduated high school in 1999. I am showing you a couple of pictures here, of that quilt. I think the great thing about these quilts is that they say something. My mom gave Jess several muslin pieces and suggested she give them out to friends to have them sign, then return them to mom to work into a quilt for her to take off to college.

Detail from graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY

Detail from graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY

Detail from graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY. Drawing and sentiment made by close family friend, Joan Denniston Herendeenmage

Detail from graduation quilt with sentiments and signatures made by Betty Alderman for her granddaughter, Jessica Fox, 1999, Palmyra, NY. Drawing and sentiment made by close family friend, Joan Denniston Herendeen

So all this got me thinking (again) about signature quilts, in general. I have a couple of blocks or sets of blocks that have names on them. Since they’re blocks they’re not a quilt but don’t you just want to know more? Who are these women and what was the purpose of these blocks? Who was the quilt going to be made for? What was the occasion?

Butterfly signature quilt block

Butterfly signature quilt block

Star Bouquet signature quilt block

Star Bouquet signature quilt block

This last quilt is what I would call a broken fan crazy quilt and each fan has a signature on it. I wish it was mine. But it’s not. Last week I attempted to win it at an online auction but my bid failed miserably.

ImagePerhaps it’s the amateur historian in me, but I want to know about the people in these signature quilts.

So tell me, have you ever made a graduation quilt or a signature quilt? Do you have pictures and/or comments you can share? If you send me pictures, I’ll post them here with your comments. We would all love to see what you’ve done. Or, if you have a signature quilt in your collection and are willing to share, send pictures of those, too.

Anxiously waiting for your pictures and comments…..Betsy

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4 thoughts on “It’s That Time of Year…

  1. I am finishing a graduation quilt for my niece who is going to Case Western Reserve in Ohio. The quilt is the school logo and colors at her request. She will be going off to school with an one of kind quilt. Sorry I do not know how to send a picture with this comment.
    enjoy your summer

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bought a signature quilt for $1.00 at an estate sale. You guessed it – not in the best shape. Each block has a signature – often in cursive. I want to know who they are too.
    It cleaned up great by soaking it in the bathtub with Retro Clean, but the fact remains, many of the fabrics are threadbare and many areas losing their stitching. I am still pondering turning this into a cutter quilt or ……There is quite a bit of intact areas that could be re-purposed.

    Many of the names are local to the valley – other blocks mention Idaho and Seaside Oregon. Some are gorgeously embroidered. Some have threads that have dissolved or rotted. Dates done in embroidery are 1937, 1940. This quilt took several years to piece together. I don’t know the name of the quilt pattern but the center of the flower is a hexagon with trapezoidal triangles arranged around similar to this one:

    Possibly a Friendship Garden quilt, …. a 1930’s quilt. Possibly named because of the convenient space in the middle for signing names.

    Its not in the best shape but I couldn’t leave it to be discarded after the sale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Kathy! I can’t believe you got something like that for $1 even in its state of disrepair. A lucky find if you are interested in the signature quilts. I’m guessing you could trace these names, especially because you have an idea of the region where they came from. I looked at your link for a similar quilt and was delighted to see the blocks in that quilt look like the blocks I have in the post (the Star Bouquet blocks.) How fun.

      Like

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