|My first full-size quilt was an adaptation of a Ruby McKim pattern called Basket of Oranges. I found it in
101 Patchwork Patterns, one of the few quilt books available at the time. My version featured lemons rather than oranges. As I look back, it wasn’t a very inspired quilt,
but it was made with love for my friend Marilyn Lane, who has used it every day since I presented it to her in 1979.
The summer I made Basket of Lemons I was expecting my second child. I was anxious to complete the quilt before my due date so I could enter it in the Iowa State Fair. Friends from the
beginners’ quilt class where Liz and I met helped me with the last few hand quilting stitches.
The day Mary was born was the day entries had to be taken to the fairgrounds in Des Moines. Mary arrived in the wee hours, but I waited until 8 a.m. to call Liz and tell her I wouldn’t be
able to make the drive from Winterset. I asked Liz for all the quilt group news before I told her I had a baby daughter, knowing she wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else once
I gave her the news!
I borrowed Basket of Lemons back from Marilyn in the fall to hang in our quilt club’s show during the Madison County Covered Bridge Festival. In the photo at left, I’m proudly holding
baby Mary in front of that first big quilt. The button she’s wearing says “I’m a quilt lover!”
Believe it or not, there weren’t many quilt shows to go to in those days. Our annual show was the highlight of the year for me. During this time period, Liz and I were teaching basic quilting
to lots of other young mothers in Madison County. We didn’t have many fabrics in our stash or a rotary cutter to cut them with, but we were just as passionate about quilting then as we are today!