Have you seen our latest news? We’ve just announced the theme for the 9th annual 2015 Quilt Alliance contest: Animals We Love. We’re accepting 16″ square quilts–of all styles, from traditional piecing to embellished art quilt–featuring the animals we love.

Don’t worry, you’ve still got plenty of time to get started–the deadline isn’t until May 1, 2015. But in celebration of the announcement of next year’s theme, we’re featuring a quilt all about beloved animals. Read on for the story of this incredible tribute to four-legged and feathered friends by quilter Shirley Kelly!

“This quilt is called “…And Friends of the Family.” It’s a number of pets that we have had over a span of forty-five years, either my son or my daughter or my husband and myself. Right now the only living one is the second one down from the top in the corner, the Jack Russell terrier, my daughter’s dog. He’s about four years old, but all the others have passed on. The only true “friend” as such is Kelso, famous racehorse. He’s this one. He belonged to a very nice lady who lives down in Maryland, but she always sent us Christmas cards with Kelso’s name on it, so we count him as one of the friends. The little rabbit toy was my grandson’s toy when he was very small, and it probably had as much love and attention as all the other animals put together. This is only a very small representation of all the animals that my family have had over the years, but these are the most important ones to us.

[…] I think the fish were the first ones that I did, and they were just a picture. I never got around to quilting them. Then that was kind of fun, and I thought it would be interesting to do the horse at the top, Kimbo. Then the tiger cat was my lap kitty, and he was getting rather old, and I thought it would be kind of nice to do one of him too, so I ended up with three of them, and just suddenly the idea clicked that I could do all of the others.They had been done in one way or another, either photography, drawing, something like that. Practically all of the ones up there have been done with pencil drawing at least once, and now they’re immortalized with fabric.”

Ready to get started on your contest entry? Learn more about the guidelines here. You can read more quilt stories on the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Quilt Alliance website.


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