This year has certainly flown by here at the Quilt Alliance; I can hardly believe today is the first day of December and that we’re headed into the home stretch of 2013! This week’s Q.S.O.S. Spotlight is on an interview with Irene Fankhouser of Nebraska. Irene was interviewed 4 years ago–also on the first day of December!–in 2009. Irene brought a beautiful king-sized quilt with her for her Q.S.O.S. interview that took 5 generations of clothing, 10 years to make and was the winner of a 10 dollar prize:


SharonAnn Louden (interviewer): […] Irene, would you please tell us about the quilt that you brought in today?

Irene Fankhouser: Yes, it is a king size Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern that was about ten years in the making and it’s fabric from clothing that my grandmother, and my aunt, and myself and my three daughters and four granddaughters had from clothing that we made. I helped them sew when they were young and they made quite a few of there own so I thought this was a good way to utilize it. I didn’t have any idea what to do with it for all these years and one day I got an ad in the mail that had a pattern for this flower garden quilt and I thought that’s it that’s what I’m going to use.

14-31-BC7-1-qsos-a0b1w4-a_15370SL: What special meaning does this quilt have for you then?

IF: Well, it is because it has all this fabric in it from five generations of the women in our family. Some of them are long gone so I saved all that I guess you could call me a saver. I just felt this was a good way to use it and make it more meaningful for our family… 

SL: What do you think someone viewing your quilt might conclude about you?

IF: Well, like I said I’m a saver [laughs.] and probably that I have a lot of patience because it does take a long time to sew all the little hexagons together and it’s all hand stitched and hand quilted although I didn’t do the quilting […] I won a certificate at the Johnson County Fair from a quilt shop in Pawnee City [Nebraska.] It was for the best hand stitched and hand quilted quilt for which I was very proud of. It was a $10.00 certificate. [laughs.] I didn’t get around to using it until this past year.

You can read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance site.


Posted by Emma Parker
Project Manager,  Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories

See You in June for Month Three!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! We’ve made two very different but complementary blocks together and we can’t wait to make more. Join us next month as we make a block designed by Pat Sloan — we’ll send instructions out on the 15th.

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @zakfoster.quilts on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM (or email us a photo of your block at And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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