Sponsored by quilt historian and entrepreneur Dr. Kimblery Wulflert of Women on Quilts: Coaching women to seam their business and spirit together in the creative arts, writers from across the country were invited to enter the contest as a fundraiser for The Quilters Hall of Fame in honor of Marie Webster’s 150th birthday and in honor of the 2009 Inductee, Merikay Waldvogle of Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Wulfert selected three judges from across the country who themselves each have a background in textiles and writing.
Karen Alexander of Lopez, past president of The Quilters Hall of Fame 2005-2008, was thrilled to learn that a Lopezian had won the contest.
“There is a long history of good writing from this island. How wonderful to learn our own Rita Larom has won this particular writing contest! I couldn’t be more pleased.”
The short piece, entitled “Maizie’s Hope”, concerned a woman who had lost five children in a tragic accident. The device of Maizie’s quilt helped Maizie convey her feelings of both loss and hope to her remaining daughter.
The challenge, titled “Changing Times: Women’s Stories 1902-1942” was to write a creative story about a female, any age, growing up between 1902 and 1942 in the US. The dates were specifically selected to coincide with the years Marie Webster lived in her now restored historic home in Marion, Indiana. Webster was an early 20th century quilt designer, entrepreneur and founder of Practical Patchwork Co. Her 1915 book, “Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them” catapulted her into national and even international fame for it was the first scholarly book solely dedicated to the long and colorful history of the quilt. She lived and worked from her Indiana home from 1902 to 1942.
The Quilters Hall of Fame (founded 1979) moved from Virginia to Indiana in 1992 when Marie’s house was given to TQHF by Marie’s only two granddaughters, Rosalind Webster Perry and Katherine Webster Dwight. Marie’s home was then restored and opened as a museum in 2004. It now holds a collection of quilts and ephemera that honor women (and four men) in America’s quilt history, past and present.
The eBook, “Changing Times: Women’s Stories 1902-1942”, compiled of the finalists, is free, written by women for women. You may download it by visiting this link http://womenonquilts.blogspot.com/2009/06/changing-times-women-stories-1902-1942.html. It is historical fiction in 16 short stories with period photos. Have Kleenex handy and be ready to laugh as well.