“Quilts were hand made by people for people. Every phase of their production was permeated by giving and sharing.”
~Mrs. Claude Darnell
Friendship quilts were common in most communities and held a special role in the lives of women, both young and old. Friendship quilts consisted of blocks contributed by multiple individuals, all in the same pattern. These blocks would be identified with the maker’s name, before they were all stitched together at a quilting. Women within the community would come together to make a quilt for a soon-to-be bride or a needy family. For young girls and women, these projects and events were an important introduction into the social role of women and a supportive, female community.
Edith Darnell shares her memories of friendship quilts and quiltings:
This particular quilt was made by the young women of the Wolffork and Germany (a local community, not the nationality) communities, near present-day Clayton and Rabun Gap, Georgia. Each woman made a block in the same pattern, a variation of flying geese, and either embroidered their name or wrote it in ink. It was created around 1898 as a wedding gift for Dock L. Justus and his bride Lula Mosley.
Cotton block-piece friendship quilt in a variation of flying geese. Some squares have embroidered initials; others are written in pen ink. The quilt is mostly made up of printed cotton fabric. The binding is in a floral twill weave. The backing is a blue and white gingham. The batting is likely cotton. It is quilted in a fan pattern; both quilting and binding are hand-stitched.