Ferne Sayre




Ferne Sayre




Ferne Sayre


Angela Lodin

Interview Date


Interview sponsor

Sandra Anne Frazier


Irvine, CA


John Lodin


Note: Ferne Sayre is not a member of DAR. While this is a DAR quiltmaker documentation project, membership in the DAR is not required.

Angela Lodin (AL): My name is Angela Lodin. Today's date is December 3rd, 2009, and the time is 2:15 in the afternoon. I'm conducting an interview with Ferne Sayre in Irvine, California, for the Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories project. We're doing this through the American Heritage Committee of the California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution, and my chapter is the Katuktu Chapter in Tustin, California. Ferne, I am so delighted that you are willing to do this project with us, and we've taken pictures of your lovely quilt so we'll start by your telling me whatever you'd like to tell me about the quilt, when you made it, and is it original, and your interest in Hawaiian quilting.

Ferne Sayre (FS): Well first of all, I'm quite honored that you asked me to do this. I'll have to go and look at the label to figure out the year I actually made this. But anyway, my interest in Hawaiian quilting started when my husband and I started going over to Hawaii on vacation, and we loved the island of Maui, so in '72 we bought a condo over there, and there was a woman up on the fourth floor that always did Hawaiian quilting, and as a matter of fact the woman who owned the land, because our condo was--the whole building was situated on leased land--her name was Wailani Johansen, and she also taught quilting over there. And we never would go in January because that was not the time that we took vacations. We usually took it around May or later. And just once we were over there in January so then of course I ended up making a lot of friends and took a course with her and she used to tell us all kinds of stories about how the shells would wash up in front of the condo and she would take--oh, the plastic containers and put the little shells around it to keep the sewing supplies and everything in it. And the very first pattern I bought was "Breadfruit" from her, but believe it or not I've never made it.

AL: That's one of those UFOs [unfinished objects.], right? [both speak at the same time.]

FS: Well, I just never even started it. But, one time, you know, almost every year they have a conference over in the Hawaiian Islands and this one year, they had--it was in the '80s and they had a conference and they had a post conference on Maui. So I signed up for the three days which was held over in Wailea which was over on the other side of the island. And I had a friend [who.] was visiting me so she just, you know, did her thing, beach, pool, and all of that while I went to classes and that's where I met Elizabeth Akana. And the Hotel Marriott there on Maui over in Kaanapali is where her quilt lived and she had this fish on coral quilt there which was beautiful. It was a pale fern green on a beige background. But she never quilted them. She designed it and made it but then had somebody else quilt it. But I fell in love with that quilt and I didn't know any better. I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to start with a big quilt. You're supposed to start with a pillow top that everyone sells, you know, over there, but I didn't know any better. I wanted to make that quilt. So I made that quilt. And--

AL: How large was it?

FS: It's king size-- [both speak at the same time.]

AL: Bed size? Oh, king size.

FS: Oh yeah, it's king size. And probably took me about 18, 20 months to do it. It takes over nine months just to appliqué it down before you can even sandwich it and begin quilting.

AL: I can imagine. And then you were hand quilting?

FS: Hawaiian quilting is always hand quilting. I think now the newer methods [are to.] machine quilt and even [machine.] appliqué. But it's not the same. The old Hawaiian quilting is everything is done by hand. And you see, you know, look at these two quilts in the family room here. You measure about a half an inch. Now Wailani, she used to take her finger and just take the pencil and measure that way. But I laboriously took a seam guide and measured the half inches, so that my rows--and it's called echo quilting. You follow the outline and it just kind of designs itself til you get out to the edge of the quilt. But I have a lot of Elizabeth Akana's designs. I've met her personally. She gave a lecture over in Wailua and I was staying with some friends over there and went to the lecture and met her. And then, I have her pattern Silversword which is another great big huge quilt. And the background is wine and the silversword is polished cotton but in silver, because the silversword plant only grows in one place and that's on Maui and on the slopes of Haleakala so that's another beautiful quilt. I have it over there on my quilt rack. And then it just got so that all these big quilts were taking too much time so I started making all these crib size [quilts.]. Total amount of quilts that I've made through my lifetime, now I started quilting in 1972 and I probably have made up to about 160 quilts including wall hangings and things of that [sort.].

AL: That is amazing, Ferne. Now have you given these to family members?

FS: I have given a lot of gifts as Christmas gifts, family members, and in my quilting career I've done the usual gamut of traditional quilting into Amish quilting and then got into Hawaiian quilting. I guess I'm more known for my Hawaiian quilts than I am for most of anything.

AL: Let's talk about the crib quilt that we took the picture of the anthurium.

FS: Well, I named it "All Things Hawaiian" but it's got three anthuriums on it. And the top pattern is protea which is a flower that grows on bushes over there then the bottom one is some kind of a philodendron leaf or whatever but it was supposed to be an [exercise.] in using a dark background and the light appliqué which is reversed from what you usually see on Hawaiian quilts. On Hawaiian quilts, you usually do the dark appliqué on a lighter background, but this was reversed.

AL: Did you decide to do that?

FS: Well, I took a Hawaiian quilting course and I can't remember the lady's name out at Material Possessions that was teaching it. But in the end I was pretty frustrated with, you know, what to do and finally just sort of did my own thing. And then put the anthuriums in it and I changed those three different times and the colors because I never was happy. So finally I got it to where I wanted it. And then--

AL: You were saying it's an ongoing process, isn't it?

FS: Oh yes. Quilts just seem to have a mind of their own and design themselves. And then when I was getting to where you put the binding on and everything, the bottom one, which was the kind of the philodendron pattern, was too pale. So I had taken another course at Camp Watch-A-Patcher with Orange County Quilters Guild and we had used sponges so I took a little piece of the sponge and paint and then just dabbed it on there and that just sort of brought it to life. And then I had looked for an unusual pattern for the border and so I saw--I don't know what the pattern was that I bought, it was another Hawaiian quilt. But I used that border pattern and then I had to kind of trace it out to get it to fit because it had to meet exactly in the middle, on the sides and the top. It was a work in project, in process, just to get it to where you want it.

AL: But such a joy when it all falls together.

FS: [both laugh.] Oh yeah. Then when I finished it then I was really happy.

AL: Is there a particular part of quilting that you enjoy more? The appliqué or the hand--

FS: Well I like the hand quilting. I have just started my third white on white which will be a queen size. I made a white on white and gave it to my son when he got married and I have another white on white laid aside for my grandson from my daughter when he gets married, and this one will be laid aside for my 14-year-old grandson from my son who will be 15 in--next year February 3rd. So I think I have plenty of time to finish that 'cause I figure it'll take me a year or more and--

AL: So now are you using Hawaiian patterns?

FS: No, this is just, it's all pre-marked.

AL: I see.

FS: It's white on white and the pattern is all marked and you just quilt and then you wash it and all those markings come out.

AL: And do you use the frame?

FS: No, I hand quilt on the hoop.

AL: On the hoop--

FS: Because if you use a frame--I always remember Wailani Johansen, the Hawaiian lady that owned our land over there, I'd sit and watch her quilt, and you have to quilt backwards, and she used a hollow thumb thimble. [AL hums.] But you have to sit and quilt backwards and I never could master that. So when you hand quilt, if you quilt forward to your body you can turn your hoop around and you can always do fine stitching by being able to quilt toward you instead of backwards. I just couldn't do fine quilting going backwards. I found that very awkward. So--

AL: Well, there's nothing wrong with that. In fact you find what works for you and--

FS: Well, you want your quilting to be consistent.

AL: Sure.

FS: And that was the only way I could find that we did that.

AL: And how many, now currently, how much time do you spend quilting, in a day or week, let's say?

FS: It depends. If I have other things going, I won't spend any time at all. It just depends on my schedule and what I have to do. Mostly I quilt in the late afternoon and evening because I think it's so boring to sit and just stare at the television all the time. But I find that you can work and listen and still get the gist of whatever's on the TV. But recently I spent a great deal of time constructing, probably two to three, four hours a day because my son gave me my grandson's baseball and basketball jerseys from his junior league days. He's just gone into high school this year, in ninth grade. So if you like I'll show you this quilt, it's a memory quilt.

AL: I'd love to see it after the interview.

FS: Okay. I didn't know how to do it, and Barbara Sieber, who's been my friend for years and years and years, who's in your--

AL: [both speak at the same time.] She's in our Wee Bee Quilters friendship group.

FS: Yes. She pulled it off the Internet on how to do it. Because you know, these jerseys, they're so slippery you have to stabilize it. So first the pattern called for 14-inch squares so I graphed it all out and that wasn't going to work, I couldn't get a 14-inch square out of the front of these slip-on jerseys. So then I figured I could get a 12-inch square out, of course plus seam allowance. And so then I sat down and re-graphed it, and figured out how many jerseys I had, and that worked fine. So I constructed that quilt and put it together in two months. And then I sent it out to my machine quilter Lillian Lee and she quilted it and then of course I put the binding on it. And I was shocked because I went to look for the backing for the quilt, and material has sky-rocketed in price!

AL: Yes.

FS: And always before this world situation now, the cotton material was not that expensive for backings. You know, you could get it for $4.95, $5.95 a yard. This backing was $9.00 a yard and it has baseballs on the back. It cost me $60.00 dollars for a backing.

AL: And it isn't extra wide--

FS: No.

AL: You have to piece it to make the back.

FS: Well yes, I think I did have to piece it. But it just goes to show you how, you know, things go up and things change. And I can remember when I first started quilting--I've been quilting since 1972. You know you'd pay $1.95 or $2.95 or $3.95 and that was a lot of money in those days. But regardless, I mean, this was for my grandson and it had baseballs on it and it fit the theme, but you're just kind of shocked when you pay $60.00 for a backing for a quilt. So quilts are not an inexpensive project to get into. People say, 'Oh, well, would you make me one of those?' I had a friend in Hawaii whose daughter was getting married and she asked me to make a Hawaiian quilt for her daughter's wedding gift. And I told her, I said, 'You know that quilt took me 18 months to make.' I said, 'I can't do it.' But I did make her a small wall hanging, and she was pleased with that. But anyway, a lot of people have no conception of what it takes to make a quilt.

AL: Especially when they see things available in department stores that have no quality--

FS: Oh yeah, I warn them--[both speak at the same time.] I've warned them if you want just a utility quilt to put on the bed to make it look pretty, then go buy it. But the stitches are like basting stitches because they're made in the Philippines and they're made in China and all over. But some of them are fairly well made, and others are just like they're basted. But if you just want a utility quilt go ahead and buy it, but not if you want a really good quilt. And people are stunned when they see that quilts--if someone's asking for $1,000 for a quilt that's a great big quilt. Well, they think that's exorbitant but they have no idea how long it's taken, what the cost of the material was, and you'd be quilting like for 10, 15, 20 cents an hour.

AL: Exactly. So you do it for the love of quilting [both speak at the same time.] and the beauty of the project--

FS: Oh, absolutely. I find it's very [relaxing.] I can knit but I can't crochet and I hate embroidery and needlepoint. I can't do it. But quilting is very soothing and I also find that since my husband died ten years ago that it helps me keep my mind active, it helps pass the time and it's therapy. I think, regressing a little bit I'll have to tell two funny stories.

AL: Oh I'd love to hear them. [laughs.]

FS: When I first got into quilting, I went to adult education classes because I didn't know how to quilt and I didn't know where to go. Santa Ana College [California.] which is now Rancho Santiago, I think, offered adult education classes so I went there and I met two friends that have been my lifelong friends forever. And Dorothy Ahern used to belong to the Flying Geese Guild and then she's moved back to Nebraska to be with her children and she'll be 90 next year in March and we've been together since 1972. Then this other longtime friend, she passed away about 5 years ago of leukemia. But anyway we had a teacher that was a free spirit, and she said, 'If you cut a hole in your quilt, it's not a disaster. There are only solutions.' She said, 'Appliqué a flower or a butterfly or something over it.' And you know, you can take that same philosophy and apply it to life. It's not a disaster, it's a solution. Find a solution to your problem. And I've used that. And then with my husband when I finally retired from nursing--I was a registered nurse and I worked at the hospital and then I quit to look after this great-uncle [gestures toward the quilt on the wall.] that I just mentioned his name before the interview. My husband said, 'Why don't you find something to expand your mind?' and I had just begun to learn quilting and we were trying to graph out--Dorothy and I--the center of this Christmas quilt up there. And I said to him, 'Well what do you think I'm doing in quilting and trying to expand my mind?' I said, 'First of all, do you realize what it takes to make a quilt? First of all you have to decide on the pattern. Then you have to decide on the colors. Then you have to shop for materials. Then you have to figure out the design and graph it out.' So I said, 'What do you think I'm doing with my mind? I'm expanding my mind!' He never said another thing to me all the rest of our life. All he did was praise me on all my beautiful quilts. [laughs.] So that's two funny stories from my quilting experience.

AL: That's wonderful, Ferne. And a lesson in life as well.

FS: Yes.

AL: Now you mentioned Flying Geese Quilters Guild and I know that you're a member of another guild--

FS: Orange County Quilters Guild.

AL: Would you like to tell us about what the guild does and why you are a member of two guilds?

FS: Well, way back when, in the '80s, when I joined Orange County, they were the only guild that was around. And I can't exactly remember but I know it must have been the early '80s. It was before Flying Geese was established. But anyway in 1980, we moved from Santa Ana [California.] out here to this house. [place of interview.]

AL: In Irvine.

FS: In Irvine. And December 7th and 8th of this month I'll have been in this house 29 years. So when I lived in Santa Ana, Dorothy was in the original--Dorothy Ahern, that I spoke about, that will be 90 next year. She was in our original friendship group. And this Christmas quilt that's hanging up here on the wall now, [points to quilt.] I think there were ten of us in that group and we all made enough blocks to exchange with the other girls in the group that wanted it. And that's how that quilt came into being. And that's really old. That goes way back before 1980.

AL: I should mention for the readers and listeners, this [Christmas quilt.] has a medallion poinsettia in the center and then about 12 blocks surrounding it in different styles and all in reds and greens. It's a beautiful Christmas quilt, and just right for our interview on December 3rd.

FS: It has what they call a ribbon border. Or a ribbon [looks at border detail.] Dorothy and I were drafting out how to figure out the sides of the little blocks and then get these other blocks all around [the center.] And that was in my early stages of quilting.

AL: And that's one of the projects that friendship groups typically do, and they're smaller than the guild itself.

FS: Oh yes. Well anyway, that's how I got into Orange County Quilters Guild, and then we moved out here to Irvine. And, do you remember when Flying Geese was started, what year?

AL: It would have been 1985, because we're having the 25th anniversary next March. [both speak at the same time.]

FS: Next year. Well, the Flying Geese Fabrics used to be over here right on the corner of Culver and where the I-5 Freeway meets in that shopping center. And I remember--what was her name that originally had that shop? She died of breast cancer.

AL: That was Bonnie.

FS: Bonnie, yes. [both speak at the same time.]

AL: I don't remember her last [name.].

FS: Bonnie and there were two other ladies that were in with her. And they were forming, I remember Darla Cox who's in your group, they were forming this guild. As a matter of fact, excuse me, I believe we still lived in Santa Ana. And that particular time my parents were in a terrible auto accident back in New Mexico. And their truck and trailer were totaled and they were in the hospital. What's the name of the city, that, when you're going east is sort of--

AL: You're talking about Gallup or Albuquerque?

FS: No, not quite that far. If I had known, I'd have looked it up and tried to jog my memory but anyway, they were there in the hospital so I had to stay there a week while they were in the hospital and then my mother couldn't fly because she had pneumothorax so I had to bring them back on the train. And they had to live with us for six months until they could get back on their feet so that had to be before 1980. And then I guess when we moved out here that was when I found out about the fabric shop and joined that. And then I got Dorothy to come from Santa Ana and join the guild. But I remember Darla was one of the original ones in that group--

AL: Yes, and--

FS: And my number is 50 and I've kept that number all these years.

AL: And now Darla was president last year of the guild and you could tell us maybe the size of the guild, over 300 members?

FS: Oh it was then. And Orange County guild was about 400 but now I don't know what our membership is.

AL: I believe it's over 300 but typically aren't there about 120 ladies, and some gentlemen--

FS: That come--

AL: That come to the meetings.

FS: On Monday nights, to the meetings. Yes.

AL: So, we meet once a month, in the evening. And then members are free to join friendship groups, which are smaller groups where they meet in homes and do little projects -- do their own projects.

FS: Well, Darla and Barbara Sieber and Dorothy and we've had others come in and out into friendship groups and then this one moves and that one moves and so the friendship group falls apart and then I've joined another one and that goes on for two or three years. I think about the-- one of the two last friendship groups was the one that was really big was at Kelly Gallagher Abbott's, did you know her?

AL: Oh yes.

FS: And Carol Culbert was in that group and so we met at Kelly's studio over there. And then Kelly moved back to Colorado so that one fell apart. And then another one had started and we were meeting at Flying Geese but that didn't last very long at all. So now I just haven't joined another one because of health problems and other things that have gone on but I do miss it. I miss it a lot. I've been thinking about coming to yours.

AL: Yes, and you're welcome! [both laugh.] I know that your quilts have won prizes and of course we have the picture of the crib size quilt but you make very large quilts and you were Featured Quilter at the Flying Geese Quilt Show of 2007.

FS: Two years ago, yes.

AL: Two years ago. Could you tell us about that?

FS: The quilt show?

AL: And how, what it means to be Featured Quilter.

FS: Well it's a tremendous honor to be Featured Quilter and sit up there and talk to everybody and tell about how wonderful our guild is and quilting, you know, to the public and what it's all about and so forth. I think I had 20-some quilts displayed in that show.

AL: As I recall there were quite a few from Hawaii and then you had the connection with the British and Hawaii?

FS: Oh that's the flag quilt.

AL: Yes.

FS: The flag quilt. The British flag is on that, and the center is a Hawaiian design but it's called the "British Flag Quilt," let's see, I could dig it out real quick, but--

AL: I am ignorant of the history of why the British would be connected with Hawaii. Were they there first--

FS: The British? Because the British controlled Hawaii. They took over Hawaii and banished the monarchy.

AL: I see.

FS: And one of the princesses was locked up in the Iolani Palace, and then they eventually broke their rule from Britain but for many, many years Britain ruled Hawaii. Hawaii has quite a history. When I was looking to make that quilt, my husband and I were visiting over there, and Elizabeth Akana was doing a lot of work trying to get the Hawaiian quilts out from Hawaiian people and put them in the Bishop Museum and the museums over there.

AL: Yes, I read about the Bishop Museum.

FS: And so then she said they had patterns in this one library that was way up on the tip of the island up there so it took us about an hour to drive up there, and I had planned on doing that so I took big sheets of paper with me. Well they only had the center of the quilt and not the border for the flag. So finally I had to just bite the bullet and draft the pattern for that British flag. And that was a chore. I had talked with someone and had a connection on the Big Island and she was going to draft it for me but then she never did. And I had sent her a check to do it which she never cashed because she couldn't do it, but she said she would. But anyway it was a chore and I had to make several samples before I got that British flag right. But I finally did and then of course the stripes were not too hard to do because you can always put them on and then chop them off. [laughs.]

AL: So that was the one that I remember most and then the other beautiful ones with the Hawaiian flowers in the show and then I was asking about quilts of yours which have won prizes.

FS: I entered the Kansas Baltimore Album in the L.A. [Los Angeles.] County Fair and it took a third [place.]. And the reason they said it was knocked down to that instead of second was because when I filled out the application nobody had told me that they wanted to know the number of hours it took to make the quilt.

AL: Who keeps track, Ferne?

FS: Well, I mean I thought it was an odd request but if they had said something I could have figured it out from the number of days or hours. You could more or less put a number down. And I thought that was very funny but anyway, I have a third ribbon on it. On some of the others, I can't remember the ones that got ribbons in the Orange County show.

AL: When you go to guild meetings and there are speakers, the national speakers, do you enjoy hearing about all kinds of quilting?

FS: Oh yes, definitely. Some of it doesn't appeal to me, but it's interesting, I mean, you can always learn something. I find it very interesting, the speakers, when they talk about how they got into quilting and their lives. I find that quite interesting. Of course, I didn't exactly tell you how I got into quilting,

AL: Please, go ahead.

FS: My daughter was the one that got me unto quilting. In those days, they called them stewardesses for the airlines and she flew for American Airlines. Well, she made this one dear friend and they flew for several years together and then this girl quit and got married and was going to have a baby. So I wanted to make her a baby quilt but I didn't know how. So that's going back to the first part of the interview, was one of the reasons I took this course at Santa Ana Community College in adult education was to learn how to quilt because I didn't know where else to go. And I did find out about that. So actually it was my daughter who got me into quilting because I wanted to make her friend a baby quilt. Then when we were over in our apartment over there on Maui one time she called up and she says, 'Mother'--any time she had anything of significance to tell me she'd say, 'Are you sitting down?' so I said, 'Yes, I'm sitting down.' She said, 'Well, Linda's gonna have twins.' So I said, 'Okay.' So that meant I had to turn around and make another quilt. The very first quilt I made for her was Sunbonnet Sue. So when I found out she was going to have twins the second quilt was Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Boy. So then when the twins were born she lost one of the boys. So she kept the Overall Boy and then gave the Sunbonnet quilt back to my daughter. And then my daughter had it for several years and after she used it--well no, she didn't use it for my grandson because he was a boy. But she gave it away to another dear friend of hers. So actually it was my daughter who got me into quilting.

AL: So you were making more, let's say, traditional quilts until you--

FS: In the beginning--

AL: Until you met the lady, and I take it she was Hawaiian married to a Swedish or a Norwegian fellow.

FS: Yes. But that's where I got my love of Hawaiian quilting was, you know, after we bought the condo over there and I saw the quilting and then, you know, there was another lady that lived in the condo there that used to help Wailani at the shows at the hotels. They had Visitors Day and she would have her quilts displayed so I would go up there and quilt, you know, and sit just for the joy. And the Hawaiians would sing and play their ukuleles and entertain the tourists. That was kind of fun, we wore our muumuus and, you know, dressed up, so I got into kind of a group over there in the beginning and it was lots of fun every time I went back every year.

AL: Well that sort of answers my next question, was about the influence of quilts and American life and how you're meeting other people and sharing your experiences, either showing them what you do or learning what they do--

FS: Uh huh--

AL: But over the years your feelings about quilting are probably all warm and [fuzzy.].

FS: Oh I love quilting, I love quilting. I've probably worked on every president's quilt and many of the opportunity quilts like this one that just went for our quilt show.

AL: Yes.

FS: I did a big border on it. And beading. So then the quilt show chairperson, what was her name?

AL: Sandy.

FS: Sandy, yeah. We had four borders that went around the center of that opportunity quilt and I had put a--no it wasn't, it was Darla's quilt--

AL: The president's quilt.

FS: President's quilt. Well, we'd worked on the opportunity quilts too, and I did do a big border on that. But I'm confusing myself. It was Darla's quilt that I put a lot of beading on, so Sandy brought all of those back and had me bead all three so that they would all match so I put a lot of work into Darla's quilt with the beading the flowers and all of that, but it was fun. I loved it. I loved it, and because it was for her.

AL: The beading and what you might call embellishment is fairly new, isn't it?

FS: Oh it's been around for many years. I made another quilt--

[both speak at the same time.]

AL: But a quilt that you would sleep under probably wouldn't have beads on it

FS: Beads on it, no.

AL: Well then we should say this would be more for a wall quilt, or a wall hanging?

FS: Well, you asked me about did I enjoy the lectures. Yes, there was one woman who was there and I don't remember her name but she used embellishment of yarn and couched it on and so forth and I made this small wall hanging for this friend of mine that lives in Monterey [California.] because she had this big macaw parrot, and it's called Parrots. So I took this yarn and kind of fluffed it up and put it on the bark of the tree and then couched it on, and then on the leaves I sewed the white beads on it, the clear, to make it look like raindrops coming off of it.

AL: Oh my goodness. And since you've given that away do you keep a picture? Do you take pictures of all your--

FS: I have two books. I keep a picture of every quilt I've made and a record underneath that picture of when I made it, who owns it, and some statistics about it.

AL: Ferne, is there anything else that we haven't covered? I feel like we've run the gamut today. But if there's something I've missed--

FS: Oh, I enjoy the guild. I don't always get there because I'm getting up in years now and sometimes it's a little difficult, you know, to drive at night. But I enjoy the friendships, and there's a lot of talent in our guild. And this last show that we put on, I mean, every year I'm amazed at the talent and the quilts that, you know, they produce.

AL: Are you concerned about preserving quilts for the future?

FS: Yes. When I give one of my quilts away I give them a set of instructions on how to care for them and wash them. Because the biggest enemy of quilts is when they let the light and sunlight in and it fades it. I made this Log Cabin for my son and he had it on the bed. And the sun came in and it ruined this one section of his quilt. And like with this Kansas Baltimore Album I told my daughter, I said, 'If you ever let a dog or cat up on that bed'--because there's so much work in that quilt. I said, 'I'll come back and haunt you.'

AL: [laughs.] Well that's wonderful. We're nearing the end of our time, and I would like to thank you so much, Ferne, for this interview. It's going to be fun to listen to it and read it again.

FS: Well, as you can see my house is a museum of quilts. There's quilts hanging everywhere.

AL: Yes, I should have, I meant to mention that because it's just been a joy sitting here and I'll get a tour after the interview to see how the T-shirt quilt is coming along--

FS: Oh it's finished.

AL: It's finished but you have it?

FS: Oh yes, it's right over here on the couch. I keep showing it until I put it in a bag as a Christmas present--

AL: It hasn't been given yet, I see.

FS: No, it's for Christmas.

AL: I see.

FS: It's his Christmas present.

AL: Well, that's really nice to be finished with it this early and--

[both speak at the same time.]

FS: Yes indeed--

AL: And not stitching at the last minute.

FS: Well, I guess we didn't have trouble filling 45 minutes.

AL: No, it's been just wonderful. Thank you very much.

FS: And thank you so much for doing this.

AL: We are closing this interview at 2:57 in the afternoon.


“Ferne Sayre,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 19, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/1503.