Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Friendship Quilt Revisited for Sunday Favorites & Quilt Festival - Fall 2009

It's time for Sunday Favorites with Chari @ Happy to Design. I'm sharing my very first post again and also linking this to Park City Girl's Quilt Festival - Fall 2009. Wow! There are over 400 quilts to visit. I can tell how I'm going to spend my Sunday!

Welcome to Metamorphosis Monday with our hostess, Susan @ Between Naps On The Porch, and a big "Thank you, Susan!" for all your help and encouragement. Today is my first post, so this in itself is a metamorphosis of sorts. I've been a follower of several blogs, and today I'm making the leap to write a post on my very own blog page, Hyacinths For The Soul. As a 30+ year veteran teacher of young children, I've witnessed many wonderful "metamorphosis moments" of first learning. I like the idea of sharing the transformations that weave in and out of one's life.

One person's trash is another's treasure... not many men would rescue boxes of fabric that were on their way to a dumpster, but fortunately for me I have a friend who knows of my appreciation of textiles and delivered these to my doorstep.

Swatches of the very finest Italian wool! My friend brought me boxes and boxes of sample books that a local men's custom clothing shop was discarding because they were the previous year's fabric collection. What a treasure trove!

Just look at these luscious textiles! They are as soft and smooth as butter on a warm day.

Wouldn't you adore a new outfit made of any of these? The choices are endless.

I need new winter slacks. I'll take three in these colors. What would be your choice?

I admit the boxes lingered among my fabric stash for some time before inspiration struck. I didn't have yards and yards of these luscious fabrics, and after all, patchwork garments hadn't been in vogue since the 1970s. You do remember the patchwork craze of the Hippie Era? And yes, I really did wear this skirt!

Eventually the swatches became the basis for a new collaborative project with my friend, Kay, who I met in the early 1980s when we were professional colleagues. We connected instantly and soon discovered that we shared an abundance of interests. We became soul mates! Today we live 2000 miles apart, but meet yearly either at her home, my home, or a vacation spot. Our yearly visits have spawned collaborations of numerous creative endeavors.

We'd earlier completed a pair of full size crazy quilts (topic for a future blog post), and wanted our next project to be a quilt for each of our husbands. The Italian wools would lend a masculine feel. To pay tribute to the original intent of the fabrics, we decided on the bow tie, a quilt block pattern from the late 1800s.

The metamorphosis didn't evolve quickly. The task to measure, cut, and piece a hundred of these 4" squares proved a daunting task. Then reality set in. Two hundred squares would only produce one lap quilt. We needed a pair! Ingenuity persevered. We would simply alternate solid squares with the bow ties.

After several cross country flights and hours of stitches made by two hearts and two pairs of loving hands . . .

A pair of "Friendship Bow Tie" quilts appeared! Friendship quilts because most of the work on the pair was completed by two friends working side by side during our annual visits.

Today, Kay (at right) and I each have one of these quilts in our homes. They keep our napping husbands warm and cozy on winter afternoons and reflect the creative spirit of two friends across the miles. This summer we will vacation together at the seashore, eager to plot our next shared endeavor.

Each "Friendship Bow Tie" is also a charm quilt, as no two identical fabrics are repeated within either quilt. . . and this one was made for my Prince Charming!
Thank you for stopping by. Please comment below, and please come back!

Thanks for stopping by for this Sunday Favorites and for my participation in the Quilt Festival - Fall 2009. Click here to go over to see a list of Sunday Favorites. Click here to visit all the other participants in Quilt Festival - Fall 2009. Hope to see you again soon.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. How amazing. What a great story of friendships and quilting. Thanks so much for sharing and I can see why you would want to repost this one, especially during Quilt Festival. I'm not a quilter, but I would love to go visit several of those quilters that are participating. There goes my Sunday :0)

  2. Fabulous story, fabulous friendship, fabulous quilts!!! Thanks for resharing this.

  3. Now, those are what you would call truly HANDSOME quilts !.....a perfect quilt for the man of the house.

    Congratulations on yours and your friend's perseverance.......what a reward you got in the end......quilts to treasure--from throwaways !

  4. So beautiful and I must say that you have totally inspired me. I have a huge box of vintage men's wool suiting samples and I am in the process of embroidering them for a quilt -- I have just a few left to complete and now that the weather is cooler, I will bring it out again (you can see it on my blog under the embroidery category if you are interested). I never thought about making a traditional quilt block with wool, but now my head is swimming with ideas (and I have tons more samples to work with). The bow tie quilt is just marvelous -- you must be so pleased with the way it turned out -- it's a wonderful project!

    I am so happy that you visited my lantern quilt and that you gave me the opportunity to see your beautiful quilt.

  5. What a great story and quilt to submit to the quilt festival. I don't know how you two will be able to top yourselves. Good luck!

  6. I remember this post and the quilt is truly amazing!...Christine

  7. wow, I adore the quilt, it is so warm and masculine, the bow ties are to die for, it is just so chic..I love that you were able to use thing you already had in a different way...bravo...thanks for sharing

  8. That is a beautiful quilt - I love the masculine colours and I am sure it is beautifully warm. Thanks for sharing.

  9. What an incredible quilt and a great story!

  10. Hi Sarah...

    Ohhh my, what a fabulous post to share with us for Sunday Favorites! Your beautiful wool, Bow-tie quilts are gorgeous! What a grand idea to put to use all those wool fabric samples...I just love it!!! By the way, the friend that retrieved all of those lovely samples is truly a friend indeed...hehe! I really enjoyed reading about you and your friend Kay...having such a wonderful friend is truly a blessing!!!

    Ohhhh...I do LOVE that beautiful quilt...thank you so much for sharing it with us today! Sarah, I'm so glad that you decided to start your very own's been such a delight to me!!!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend! Enjoy all of those quilts!!!


  11. Hi Sarah!

    What a wonderful quilt along with a wonderful story and an amzing friendship! I just love the quilt!

    I did a patchwork quilt out of several books of Wavery Special Order fabric books that were going to be tossed in the dumpster.

    Thank you for re-sharing this post since it is my first glimpse at it!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!

  12. Quilts with a great story truly are the best kind :-)

    Thanks for sharing,

  13. Sarah, that is a wonderful story! You girls did a fantastic job with those quilts. I know they are "priceless" just as your friendships are with each other.

    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Your quilt is beautiful (as is your friend's) and your story is equally lovely! How wonderful that your friend knew you so well to begin with and brought you all that gorgeous wool! VERY NICE!

  15. Oh, Sarah! That is one of the best looking quilts I've ever seen. I love the grey and masculine colors! Oh, that is really a treasure! And how brilliant to use the solid colors in between the bow ties to make them stretch further. These are truly perfection. GREAT job! Now, I want one! LOL!



    P.S. My cousin is an architect, and he used to have a sofa in his townhouse in Washington that was covered in men's suiting fabric. He said he changed the pillows frequently (which were usually silk foulards) because it was perfectly acceptable for a man to change his tie on a regular basis! ;-)

  16. Sarah, you are an amazingly talented lady. Such a creative quilt, beautfiul work.

  17. Hi Sarah,
    Loved rereading your wonderful first post.
    Wishing you & Mr Hyacinth a lovely Sunday.
    From HHI

  18. How perfectly fun that you and your quilting friend are able to collaborate on such fun matching quilts. I think the bow tie quilts look great. Now it makes me want to know more about the crazy quilt project.

  19. Those quilts are so special, Sarah. Thanks for sharing this post again.

    Susie said that you brought a delicious lunch to share with her and Laurie. How thoughtful.

  20. Hello Sarah! What an amazing gift. It's one that keeps on giving. First with your friend thinking to bring the swatches to you, then the time shared with a friend quilting and finally a beautiful masterpiece for a loved on to cuddle under. This quilt is very special indeed, filled with love from all sides! You girls did a superb job. Have a gorgeous Autumn day and thank you for your visit to Loveleigh Occasions! You are always welcome!

  21. The quilts turned out beautifully!

    I do so admire quilters.
    Such patience!
    Such dedication!

    I finally got my Sunday repeat post up.

  22. Oh wow! Would you look at that! Beautiful and one of a kind!!
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

  23. Sarah, I am SEW glad you decided to repost these wonderful quilts from the very first opening of your blog! What a true labor of love you gals created & how fun that must have been to see them completed.

    I once acquired some bigger sample pieces of decorator fabrics & have used them for purses & little accent pillows. There weren't enough of any one design to make something as lovely as your quilt, though.
    I bet it is incredibly warm!

  24. What an awesome thing to do!! Wow, what work and it came out to be very beautiful. Love the story!!

  25. Sarah, I was over here lusting over that quilt earlier, and I have to say, it's even better this go around! LOL!

    I posted a tiny little snippet of a flower's head on the blog showing the pattern I'm giving Gloria. I hope she doesn't read this and spoil the surprise, but it's Whiting's Lily. It has some engraving (bright cut) in the bowl and on the shank. Gloria seems to like ornate work, and I hope that pattern will be a good one for her.


    Sheila :-)

  26. Hi Sarah, believe it or not I had a similar patchwork skirt and I LOVED it! One of my favorite 70s songs is Midnight at the Oasis. Remember?

    I so loved your quilt and am not quite sure if I've ever seen the bowtie pattern before but I think it's great. My mother and my aunts used to make beautiful Hawaiian and other types of quilts. They are definitely a treasure.

    Thanks for visiting with me. I really do enjoy the creativity of blogging.

    Hope you had a great weekend,


  27. What a delightful story of friendship and quilting. The quilt is simply amazing. What a talent to see something beautiful out of swatches and bring them to life in something so gorgeous.Thanks so much for sharing .hugs ~lynne~

  28. Hi Sarah
    I am slowly visiting all the blogs for the quilters festival and was delghted when I saw a familiar name. What a great use of fabrics. I love the quilt!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  29. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful quilt and what a beautiful story of your friendship and your love for your husband. That was brilliant to use the fabric samples. Great post! laurie

  30. Love the bow tie quilt and happy memories.
    Thanks for stopping by yesterday with BD wishes. Loved everyone's visit and hope you pop back to see what a crafty day I had.
    Happy Monday Blessings ;-)

  31. So manly, yet so beautiful and alive. Great Job!!!!!!

  32. Oh Sarah, what a lovely story. You certainly are lucky to have a wonderful friend like Kay and she to have you.
    The quilts are just gorgeous! You have an amazing talent there.

  33. That's fantastic! Not only a beautiful quilt, but an amaIng trove of memories to go with it. Truly, how sweet:)

  34. Oh Sarah...I remember this wonderful quilt...what a clever use of those fabrics squares! And beautiful!

  35. Hi Sarah,

    What a beautiful post. I know you treasure the quilts but also the memories.


  36. What an absolutely perfect use for the fabric swatches! I love it!

  37. Hi Sarah! I remember this beautiful unique! I scrolled down to catch up and was struck by the gorgeous pewter rooster pitcher! Have you seen the new Pierre Deux catalog? Full of pewter! You have so many wonderful and unique pieces! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  38. Sarah,

    What a wonderful tale of friendship and the talented hands that created such fine quilts. Some would not have bothered with the swatches but you both persevered. How talented you and Kay are!!

    I love your quilt and it looks handsome & comfy!!

    And yes, I remember the patchwork look of the Seventies! I believe I had a jacket that would have gone with your skirt!!

    And a big thanks for all your visits to my blog. I will be back soon!!


  39. What a wonderful post! I love that quilt. It is indeed manly looking and I agree that the bow tie was the perfect pattern.

    It's all the more special because you made it with your dear friend. Just a heartwarming post all around!

  40. Thanks for sharing this lovely quilt and story. Really nice.

    Thanks too for participating in the Bloggers Quilt Festival.


  41. Oh Sarah,
    What an amazing quilt! I love it, it's awesome and what a keepsake of friendship! Cindy

  42. At our age we will take a BD wish anytime. Did you not get to see my last few posts? I too have some of those 'books' of fabric and used a piece to make the coat on my scarecrow pillow hanging. I still have to cut a grapevine handle for it and will post again when I have completed.

  43. Lovely quilt and story behind it!

    Happy sewing!


  44. What an amazing quilt! You're right, those wools do make it so masculine!

  45. Not sure which is more amazing, the story or that wonderful quilt! both!
    hugz, Pam

  46. Wow! I love this--I find so many quilts are really "girly" but this one is so masculine yet beautiful.

  47. I am about to make my brother a bow tie quilt, but it will be with "ordinary" cottons and not these cosmopolitan Italian wools. Terrific idea and how wonderful to share it with your friend. But how did you quilt it? Thanks for sharing your quilt's story.

  48. It's a great story and the first time I ever thought a bowtie quilt was beautiful! Great job!

  49. What a wonderful story about a wonderful quilt. Thank you.

  50. Hi,

    Just wanted to say how much I love your quilt and that I've featured it in a roundup of some of my favorites from the Park City Girl Fall Quilt Festival. Thanks!

    The Handmade Experiment

  51. That's a gorgeous quilt, and what a wonderful story.


Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.