Now that August’s in full swing, it seems like reminders of Back to School time are unavoidable. From television commercials to the fresh pencils in the school supply aisle, everyone’s gearing up for a new school year! For some families, the start of a new academic year is bittersweet as older children move on to college or new careers and parents are left with an “empty nest”. Today’s Q.S.O.S. spotlight features two quiltmakers who found quilting after their children “flew the coop”.
Fran Randolph of Georgia talked about quilting as a distraction when her youngest son joined the Air Force:

14-31-E93-1-NC28723-004RandolphA“I started about 6 years ago. Basically I have always been a crafter, and have always done some kind of crafting. I had been doing counted cross-stitch mostly recently, and I just, and I’ll tell you how old now that I’m more than 50, my eyes are not getting as good at seeing those teeny little stitches. It was more than my little eyeballs could handle [laughs.] so I was looking for a new venue to do my crafts and a gal from our church was doing some quilts with some others… So about 6 years ago my youngest son went away to the Air Force and I decided I needed a new venue to fill in the emptiness in my world and I picked up quiltmaking and its picked me up. I’ve become a little bit compulsive with it [laughs.]…”

The departure of her youngest child for college encouraged Kathie Lombard of Maine to start quilting:
The earliest memory I have about quilting was when I was about eight and hearing my14-31-CBF-1-ME04971-001LombardAmother, my grandmother and her sister talking about colors and cutting up clothes to make quilts and all that. I thought, this was just not for me. Then later in my life ’empty nest syndrome’ came along and when my last child, my only daughter, left home, I felt that deeply in my heart and that’s when I thought, ‘I’m going to pull out that quilt that my Canadian grandmother made for me, which was a wedding present.’ I copied the pattern, just on paper, not knowing what I was doing, and made my daughter a quilt of that pattern to take with her when she went to college, because that quilt meant a lot to me and I just wanted to give her something that would connect her to home. I probably made every mistake known to quilters in that quilt, but she loved it and she wore it out. That’s what I had wanted her to do. That was my beginning anyway.
Want to keep reading? You can find more quilt stories at the Quilters’ S.O.S.- Save Our Stories page on the Alliance’s site.


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