I have a special quilt that my momma made for me over 50 years ago. When I was a little girl, I would wave at the engineers and conductors of the L&N trains as they passed by our house. They used to throw bags of candy to me as they went by. Sometimes the bags would burst open when they hit the ground. Their wives provided them with pieces of cloth to wrap the candy in to protect it. Momma took those pieces of cloth and some extra fabric saved from my homemade dresses and made me a quilt.
Doris Garrett, Springfield
My favorite quilt is a tribute and originated as a history lesson for children. Victory Garden began on Pioneer Day at Creekside Elementary in 2009. The light fabrics were torn by students and placed in a basket. The one-inch strips were sewn into the log cabin pattern Courthouse Steps with navy stars. Hand-quilting was done on the same 14-inch wooden hoop used by my ancestors. It honors my father, WWII veteran Robert Orville Keplinger, who died in 1989. A label on the back lists the battles in which he fought. The quilt won Best of Show at the 2012 Kentucky State Fair.
Mary Lois Hill, Elizabethtown (Nolin RECC)
My grandmother, Alice Flowers, was a remarkable custom hand quilter. She once quilted a quilt that was presented to President Gerald Ford. She quilted several quilts for my family, but one particular has a special place in our home. The special quilt was made when my son was small, and they studied the presidents together. The quilt consisted of each president of the United States in redwork embroidery, then set together with flag material and hand quilted. It is very special to our family.
Michelle Stockton, Albany (South Kentucky RECC)
I called at 2 a.m. “The police just arrested a couple. Their children need a place to stay.”
“I’ll have beds ready,” she replied.
For almost 30 years, I interrupted the routines of foster families willing to open their homes to the unknown. They loved the unloving. They hugged the hurting. They changed countless lives, including mine.
Before I retired, those families surprised me with a quilt. Each square represents one of their homes: children’s hands, pets, a house, hearts and more. It serves as a reminder of shared tears, trials, disappointments and joy.
Diana C. Derringer, Campbellsville (Taylor County RECC)