Helen Young Frost

Photos

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Title

Helen Young Frost

Description

Helen Young Frost discusses her quilt, “A World of Flowers,” which she started in 1992 for a class she taught at Quilt Expo Europa, then later modified it to make more contemporary. It is hand appliqued and hand quilted. Most of Frost’s books are about strip piecing, but she has also co-authored books on hand applique and hand quilting. She and quilter Debbie Gordon saw a need for books on heirloom-quality baby quilts. Frost has quilted since high school, learning traditional patchwork and how to draft her own blocks. Her mother, Blanche Young, taught quiltmaking, and Frost became a teacher when the American Bicentennial spurred interest in traditional quilting. She and her sister Dalene Young Stone have co-authored books with her mother, noted quiltmaker Blanche Young. Frost and her mother pursue different methods of strip piecing. Another sister is a professional machine quilter. Frost describes balancing family life with the demands of being a “celebrity quilter” who travels and participates in numerous quilt shows. Like other quilters, she used quiltmaking to help her deal with her feelings after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Frost discusses what makes a great quilt, the preservation of quilts, machine versus hand quilting, and taking inspiration for her quilts from the Southwest region. She talks about quilting as her livelihood.

Identifier

QSOS-110

Subject

Quilting
Quilts--Design.
Applique--Patterns.
Quilters
Quilting.
Quiltmakers
Quiltmaking
Quiltmaking process
Quilts
Appliqué--Patterns.
Quilting--United States--Patterns.
Strip quilting
Authors and publishers.
Authors.
Writing
Families.

Interviewee

Helen Young Frost

Interviewer

Gloria Adriance-Answell

Interview Date

11/02/2001

Interview sponsor

Nancy O'Bryant Puentes

Location

Houston, Texas

Interview indexer

Sarah Cleary

Transcriber

Nathaniel Stephan

Transcription

Gloria Adriance-Answell (GA): [recording begins midsentence.] ...two thousand one. [tape is turned off.] Helen Young Frost. [tape is turned off.]

[discussion is of the "Women who Challenged Quiltmaking" exhibit featuring the following quiltmakers. tape begins midsentence.]

Helen Young Frost (HYF): ...Marie Webster, Rose Kretsinger, Barbra Johannah, Lassie Whitman, and Blanche Young and myself.. We have some of our early quilts and some newcomers. [tape speeds up.]

GA: Oh, alright. [inaudable.] Well this was gorgeous. Tell me about this one. I have it turned on right.

HYF: I designed it for the quilt Expo-Europa in ninety two that was held in The Hague in the Netherlands so I taught this there. It's different national flowers. So I call it "A World of Flowers." Originally it was all done in solid and I didn't finish it for the class some of the pieces were still pinned on. Then I put it away for a few years and when I pulled it out I decided it looked too dated all in solids. Looked a little flat. Any new flower I added I added a print and then I took some of the other pieces off and added prints just to make it look a little more contemporary. Because I had changed the design a little bit I had little rust marks where the pins were--[GA hums agreement.] So I had to appliqué ladybugs on the spots.

GA: That's good.

HYF: When a mistake is made I came up with something else to cover it up. Then when I went to mark it for quilting my grid wasn't square and I realized my pattern piece wasn't square. So I had to take the borders off and take out this appliqué to miter it. Then when I rinsed my marking off some of my colors ran. [laughs.] This is my three steps forward two steps back quilt. It's almost done [inaudiable.] A few more rows of quilting to stitch and I went ahead and bound it so it would looked finished finally. [laughs.]

GA: Well it's lovely. Isn't it amazing how much we've changed in our presentations? So what is the name of the pattern?

HYF: "A World of Flowers." Hand appliquéd and hand quilted. I decided I'm only going to hand quilt things that really show it off. I'm not going to hand quilt Sunshine and Shadows where it's all on prints; where you don't see the quilting. Life's too short to have hand quilting not show.

GA: Why did you choose this one?

HFY: Just because I've been working on it a lot lately--

GA: [inaudiable.]

HFY: Also, even though most people think of me as a strip piecer because all of my books are based on strip piecing techniques. Quicker ways of doing things. I am a hand appliquér and a hand quilter and I like to remind people of that. I do tiny, tiny stitches and I like show them off once in a while. All my books with Blanche Young are machine pieced, strip piecing techniques. My book with Debbie Gordon, "Sweet Dreams: Heirloom Quilts for Babies" has piecing and hand appliqué techniques. It's more of a range of quilting techniques.

GA: How did you manage to switch around and decide on the subject of the book?

HFY: Debbie and I had been friends for a long time and we were having our children at about the same time and we felt there was really a need for a baby quilt book with quilts that weren't just quick and easy quilts. More heirloom. Some of the quilts in the book are quite intensive. Lots of quilting. Debbie has one where the quilting is every three eighths of an inch by hand. She has one child and I have four so she has more time to do that kind of thing, where I didn't.

GA: When did you start quilting? What age were you?

HFY: Right out of high school. I worked in a fabric store right out of high school. I think I started working there in seventy two and that's when interest in the bicentennial began. People were interested in quilts and I started making quilts at that time. My mother made quilts too but we were making different types of quilts. She was already teaching an adult education. She was teaching sewing and then they wanted quilting classes. She started teaching quilting and then when there was such a demand for quilting classes I started teaching them also. I started teaching in seventy four for adult education in southern California. Even though I was very young and didn't know much, I knew more then they did though. I once had an older student tell me that she had been quilting longer than I had been living. [laughs.]

GA: So your interest in quilting just kind of evolved? Being brought up in a sewing family?

HYF: The days before rotary cutters. It was more traditional patch work. I'm glad I learned that way. I'm glad I learned to draft my own blocks because there weren't pattern books. So I can draft anything. I can see a picture of a quilt and draft it. I can't say that for people starting to quilt today. We didn't have as many supplies and resources but we learned to be more resourceful ourselves. [cough.] [both laugh.]

GA: [inaudiable.] You're speaking my language. About how many hours a week do you quilt today?

HYF: I usually hand quilt or hand appliqué every evening for an hour or two. I machine piece when I have time. If it's for a class or upcoming show like this one I'll spend all day. From at least two hours a day to ten hours a day, sometimes all hours of the night-- [laughs.]

GA: Oh my.

HYF: Trying to finish up some projects.

GA: What is your first quilt memory of all quilts not what you do or what you did?

HYF: I grew up with quilts but I can not picture any. I can't remember any specific quilt just always there being quilts around. I know my mother did a machine appliqué quilt with circus animals. That's probably my earliest memory of a quilt. Neither of my grandmothers quilted.

GA: Do you have one of those quilts?

HYF: I think my mother does have the remnants of the blocks of the circus animal quilt. With seven children in our family quilts were used up.

GA: So are there any other members of your family who quilt?

HYF: My younger sister, Daline Stone, quilts and has authored a book with my mother. I've co-authored five books with mother and then my sister has authored one with her. My other sister Lynette does make quilts but not professionally. She does them for her family.

GA: None of the men?

HYF: No. [laughs.] They tolerate it.

GA: So tell me about you those. About your younger sisters you've been co-authored with them?

HYF: The techniques in "Trip Around the World" were developed by my mother and I. It is a real different technique in that you cut strips, but you notch them to show where the squares were, Because it was done with scissors, because it was before rotary cutters. Then in the early nineties she started doing it just more in more strip sets. More like how other people were doing their patch work. She wanted to revise the old books with these new methods, where I refused because I felt the old methods still worked and I still used them. I felt like that was betraying all the hundreds of thousands of people that had bought the other book. It was like we were saying that method didn't work, where it did work and it was very efficient. The quilt in the exhibit "The Desert Shadows," the Sunshine and Shadows variation, was a superimposed star that was done the old method, with the rotary cutter; instead of scissor snipping, rotary cutting snipping. I like that method; once you cut you never have to think again. You just have to sew the strips, cut them, sew them the other direction, where as the newer methods that my mother and sister put in their book "Tradition with a Twist" are where you sew lots of different strip sets, cut off sections of those strip sets and recombine them into a quilt. So you need a little more space and a little more presence of mind, I guess, to follow them. To me it's not as simple. I disagreed with it in principle. I wasn't going to write a book with methods I didn't agree with. It was amicable, she just found a different daughter to write with. [laughs.]

GA: So that's when the other daughters came?

HFY: Although that sister had been doing a lot of machine quilting for people. She started not so much as a piecer but as a quilter. She machine quilted for people professionally. She's worked doing truck show samples for some of the publishers. Their authors are too busy to actually produce their own samples so she's done that. Cloth World wanted to set up a quilt department in all of their fabric stores. My sister got hired to make three hundred and sixty Nine Patch quilts. Small quilts but still three hundred and sixty and shefell behind. I think she was pregnant with one of her daughters and so mother ended up doing a bunch. I ended up doing a bunch. They gave us so much fabric to do these quilts with. They were pink and navy. Kind of bigger than our Nine Patch quilts. We use one and a quarter to finish square and these were like two inch; great big and we kept thinking, we'll have all this left over fabric, but by the time we through with all those quilts, we never wanted to see that fabric again. We just tossed it.

GA: So how does this impact the rest of your family? Your children you said you had four children.

HFY: They just grew up with it. They understand that a lot of Halloweens I'm not going to be there since this always seems to fall over Halloween. It was interesting cause with this special exhibit "The Women Who Challenged Quiltmaking," I was explaining it to my children and my daughter Becky, who is fourteen, said, 'Well, Mom, I didn't know you were famous.' Only as a quilter. [laughs.] Then we were talking about the celebrity quilts that we auction. She said, 'Only celebrities can buy those?' And I said, 'Only celebrities make them.' She said, 'If you're a celebrity why aren't we rich?' I'm a quilt celebrity, it's not the same thing. They deal with it. I don't have a sewing room or a studio. I use the dining room table. I have to clean up my mess every time I'm through. They just have to accept it because they know that they benefit from it. I come home from a trip I did, I'm going to take the family out to dinner. All of the sudden there's little extras. A shopping spree or new clothes or whatever, so they know that if they help me and help get ready for a trip that there will be payback later.

GA: Do they interact at all with you with the quilting? Do they do any of it?

HYF: My daughters do sewing. They like to make clothes. They've resisted making quilts but this summer both the older girls had made patch work skirts which is technically quilting. Their corners matched and they did a good job. So I think there might be some quilting in their future. I want them to sew. I want them to understand that they can make a skirt or make a blouse.

GA: And how old are those girls?

HYF: The oldest is seventeen and the other one is fifteen. Becky's fifteen. I don't even know how old my children are. I've got four of them, it's really hard to keep track. [laughs.]

GA: Have you ever used quilting to get you through a difficult time in your life?

HYF: Yes. Well, most of this was quilted since September eleventh. It is something to calm myself with. During the first few days I couldn't quilt. I wouldn't have been able to quilt. I also can't quilt during U of A Wildcat basketball games because they're too exciting. I think that's why all these wonderful quilts are downstairs. People just felt like they had to do something. In my case, it was instead of making something new that was patriotic I just wanted to finish something that I had already started. What was interesting when I taught at Quilt Expo Europa, it was my first and only time in Europe and I didn't realize how separate those countries are. We were hanging the quilts and one lady was upset because we were hanging a German quilt next to a French quilt, as if the quilts would care. The World War Two is still very fresh because it happened there. I didn't realize how different the nations were and yet in this quilt are all these different national flowers existing in harmony. It was very interesting. I had one class where none of the Dutch women would help translate for a German woman. It just surprised me. Americans are so forgiving I guess. I didn't realize there was this grudge holding.

GA: Well they're so nationalistic. You've discussed this--touched on this but what do you find most pleasing about quilting? Is it the creating of the design? The actual doing of the design or the quilting itself?

HYF: Well, I think different types of pleasure from different parts of it. I love designing. Drawing my own flowers coming up with my own patterns. Working with color though, too. I would say with appliqué it's probably the designing, but with patchwork I would say it's more color. It's more fun to see how color can change a design. I've made so many Lone Star quilts in my lifetime. This year at Quilt Festival, I taught two different Lone Star classes. I'm not tired of how interesting they turn out with the different colors. A class of twenty-five people and everyone has different fabric. Even though it's the same size of star and the same dimensions and everything, the stars are all different just because of color and fabric. I'm attracted to pretty fabrics. I don't use a fabric just for the effect it has on each other. I have to like it by itself. I'm not going to buy a homely fabric just because I think it will work in with something. I'm only going to buy something pretty to start with.

GA: The color and design means more to you--[HYF hums agreement.] Then the textiles and such and the feeling of it. Are there any aspects that you do not like in the quilting process?

HYF: I don't like the cutting as well as the actual sewing. [GA laughs.] I finally learned to break up tasks. Not to try to cut the whole thing in one day. To do some of the cutting some of the sewing and go back and forth. I find that I get bored and then I get sloppy if I do any one thing too long. I break up a project but I also have lots of different projects going on at the same time. Lots and lots of different projects.

GA: So you find that way with your quilting that the stitches become irregular?

HYF: Not just quilting. It would be if I'm cutting, I might get sloppy at the end and make a miscut. Piecing, I'm trying to rush or just because it's the same thing over and over and over. Quilting, if I start doing sloppy stitches I stop. It always would take me about an hour to warm up when I would hand quilt. But then I did my first really big quilt that was hand quilted. It was the "Whig Rose Star" that was a raffle quilt for the Vermont Quilt Festival. It had so many hours, so many hours of quilting in it. It was like I went over the hump. Now I can not pick up a quilting needle for six months and sit down and I can still quilt. It was like I finally learned how to ride the bicycle, I guess, and now you never forget how to do it. So I can just pick it up and have my stitch the right size.

GA: Away from your quilts now. What do think makes a great quilt?

HYF: Just a graphic impact more so than workmanship. I mean if a quilt is beautifully made but boring colors I'm not going to be attracted to it. I want it to have an interesting design or striking colors. In the antique quilts that I buy I don't care if they're perfect. I almost prefer the ones that are a little bit used because they have more interest, more charm. So I would say color and design more than workmanship. But now when I judge a quilt show, I have to have to be fair. [laughs.]

GA: So then you're saying that a quilt to make it artistically powerful is more important. The design and the over all look [inaudiable.]

HYF: Not the workmanship.

GA: What do you think makes a quilt appropriate for a museum or a special collection?

HYF: I would rather see a tattered old quilt that had historical significance in a museum than a pristine quilt that had no background. Maybe the pristine beautiful quilt with[someone coughs in the background.] appliqué maybe could be [someone coughs.] in a art museum [someone coughs] but in a historical type museum, it should be quilts with historical connections. I was co-author of the Arizona quilt project. The Arizona quilt project book. We had the most exquisite, beautiful anonymous quilts. It was so sad. We didn't know who made them. They were wonderful quilts but without knowing anything about the maker they just didn't connect with us as much as the quilts where we knew the story of the maker and knew some of the traditions in which the quilt was made.

GA: How did you happen to come upon those quilts that were anonymous made?

HYF: The Arizona quilt project had twenty six quilt days over two years. Since Arizona is such a retirement state, so many quilts were brought in to the state and it was anything that had been made or brought in before, I think 1936. One family had an anonymous Baltimore album quilt. She had been given it by her great aunt and the great aunt had said, 'I need to tell you about this some day.' She died before she ever did, so there was no history on that quilt but it is a Baltimore album quilt. What was really sad is when it was family quilt and they didn't have names. It was like their grandmother's stepmother, that's all the knew about it.

GA: And so what makes a great quilter?

HYF: A great quilter? I think just doing what you do best and just doing that. You know, not trying to do everything. Not just do best but do what you're really interested in and just do that. Not try to be everything do everybody. Jinny Beyer once said, 'I only make one quilt a year.' She's not very prolific but look at those wonderful quilts that she makes once a year. Where I feel I kind of dilute my efforts sometimes. I do so many different things because I teach classes. I'm teaching a hand appliqué class, I may work on a project that really I'm going to do anything with. I'm not going to finish it even and if I would just direct my efforts a little more, and concentrated maybe I would have one fabulous quilt a year like Jinny Beyer. That's what I decided. In teaching, I taught old adult education, then I taught in stores and I teach in conferences. I decided I'm only going to teach my designs. I'm not going to make a quilt from a book and teach it in a shop when it's not even my design. I'm only going to do what I produce. Maybe some day this will be a pattern or something not that I want to merchandise everything, but I can really claim ownership to me.

GA: [inaudiable.] How do you think great quilters learn the art of quilting? I think you touched upon this somewhere. Especially how to design a pattern or choose the fabrics and colors?

HYF: Just by doing it. I really don't think you can teach. I don't think you can learn color theory. You just have to make color mistakes then you learn color theory. Trial and error and you get better with age. With practice I should say. Some people are just so talented that their first or second quilt is fabulous the rest of us have to work at it to find our style. [laughs.]

GA: How do you feel about while you've touched on this too but this is going down the same ascetic craftsmanship section? How do you feel about machine quilting versus hand quilting?

HYF: I think it has its place. I machine quilted just a few quilts in my life. Maybe three or four. They were quilts that my hand quilting wouldn't have shown up on. One of them is the Shadows quilt that I mentioned in the exhibit. I could have hand quilted that but I don't think the quilt would have looked any different. It wouldn't have added to the quilt and it would have been several hundred hours of my time. So I machine quilted it using a variegated thread. Which actually did add to it, where as hand quilting wouldn't have added that to it. I'm going to save my hand quilting for where it really shows. What I've found with machine quilting is people will let a mistake stand on machine quilting, where as by hand they would take it out. Quilting by hand, if I bobbled my seam and went over a leaf I would stop and fix it by hand, but by machine, people leave it there. They don't want to take the time. It depends on the use of the quilt too. If it's just a baby quilt that someone's going to use up, don't worry about it. I think their standards are lower, maybe that's one way of putting it, when they machine quilt.

GA: I have something here and I don't know what it means. What about longarm quilting? What is longarm quilting?

HYF: The big machines that sometimes have a programmed pattern. Well, the same thing, it depends on what the quilt is going to be used for. When those people first started doing those, the quilting designs that they would use looked just like a mattress pad. I had a student take this wonderful Flying Geese quilt that she had done and had it machine quilted like that and I felt like she had taken a two hundred dollar top and turned it into a fifty dollar quilt. Because it's terrible with that pointy circle that looks just like a mattress pad. People that use those or people that have them done on those machines can certainly turn out more quilts so it is good for quilting, good for the economy. [laughs.]

GA: Are they more sophisticated now than they were?

HYF: They are and so many women have gotten one for themselves. In Tucson [Arizona.],there's like six or seven women doing this professionally in their homes with those machines. And the machines are like $10,000, so I'm surprised that Tucson has enough people to supply that many quilters with products, but they're always booked. What bothers me about using people like that, is you're not choosing the quilting design, they are. When they do [GA coughs.] the quilting they'll maybe ask your idea where you want it. Where you want quilting. But they're the ones choosing where its going to be quilted, not the maker. That's kind of odd. You put a quilt in a show you're not really giving credit, even if they put the quilter's name [GA coughs.]. You're getting credit for something someone else has done. It's almost like mechanically done and not personally done. It would be like if you gave it to a different hand quilter. But just you decide where to quilt it.

GA: Now we go into the last section of this. The function and meaning of quilts in American life. [coughs.] Why is quilting important to your life?

HYF: To my life? Well my livelihood. My hobby. Most of my friends of quilters. With out quilting if you just plucked quilting out of my life, I don't know. I would have to make new friends, I would have to get a real job. I would have more room in my house. I would certainly have a little more room in the hall closet. [laughs.]. Being in the quilt world for as long as I have, it's almost unimaginable what it would be like if I didn't have quilting. I have friend that is a new quilter. She's been quilting eighteen months. Very prolific lots of quilts. She has this whole new network of friends that are all quilters and she is here this year at her first Quilt Festival. She could tell you what difference quilting has made to her life, but I really can't because I'm so immersed in it and I've been in it so long.

GA: It's just part of waking up and [inaudiable.].

HYF: [laughs.] When I was president of AIQA, my husband made some comment like, 'When is this going to end?' [laughs.] And I said if it wasn't this, it would be something else. I'm never going to just stay at home. I'm never not going to be involved in something else. I'd be PTA president or band booster president, I would be something. I'm not ever not going to be involved inout of the home activities. He gave up. [laughs.]

GA: Does he go along with you now and support you on--

HYF: Oh, yeah, he always has. I met him the day after my second book went to print. So this was part of my life before he was. He's always accepted it. He doesn't want to be part of it though. He'll come to the local quilt show but he would never ever come to Houston [Texas.] with me.

GA: This is your world.

HYF: The idea of coming here with all these people, all these women. [laughs.] Where as my sister's husband is here and he's having a good time.

GA: Now we talked about the way quilts affect your life. How do you think your quilts reflect your community or your region?

HYF: My quilts? Well since moving to Arizona thirteen years ago. I have been influenced by the southwest. I did a southwest Noah's Ark, with desert animals instead of the usual giraffes, I have javelinas and coyotes and snakes and lizards and the ark is sitting in this barren wasteland desert and the name is "Waiting for Rain." [laughs.] Kind of a inside joke because it won't ever flood there. My quilt in the exhibit down there, "The Desert Shadows" definitely was inspired by the colors of the desert. The real extremes. The deep purples and the bright oranges. Actually my star quilt in the exhibit called "Fire in the Sky" is based on the firework show they have in Tucson every Fourth of July. Then I have a new quilt called "Arizona Star." So it's taken a while. I still don't do real traditional southwest, I don't put kokopellis on my stuff or anything. I don't have a southwest house and maybe that's part of it. I'm part of the Tucson Appliqué Stitchers, which is a chapter of the National Appliqué Society, and for a raffle quilt about two years ago, we did different scenes of Tucson, different buildings in Tucson as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. It was a lot of fun. I did the old Main which is the main building on the campus of U of A [University of Arizona.] in appliqué. [laughs.] Which was not fun. It made me appreciate the history of Tucson. As soon we moved to Arizona it's when I got involved in the quilt project and had to immerse myself in Arizona history in order to co-author the book. I wasn't born in Arizona, but I'll die there, so I decided if I'm going to live here, I'm going to know about this place.

GA: You're Arizonian by choice. In what way do you think quilts have a special meaning for women's history and experience in America?

HYF: In many ways. I think quilts are such a link between women. I don't think a man can read a quilt like we can. We look at a old quilt and see the pieces and we know that she was maybe not out of fabric but out of that fabric and trying to scrape together enough for one more triangle. I know that a lot of those quilts were pieced not in a perfect little clean log cabin, but in a horrible house that she didn't want to live in, probably in a state she didn't want to move to. I love old quilts. I think they just really can speak volumes if you know how to read them. I try not to romanticize quilts too much because I think there's way too much of that going on for way too many years. One of the quilts in the Arizona quilt project they kept calling it the Civil War quilt because it was blue and grey. Well, it had the centennial stars on navy blue fabric, the little white stars. It was just faded to blue and grey. In fact, it was the very same fabric and I think some of the fabric had seen some abuse before it was used in that quilt because it was the same print with different levels of fading, right next to each other. It's definitely in the Arizona book because it is made by Annie Oakley's mother Susan Wise Mosses.

GA: Oh my.

HYF: So it had wonderful history, but don't romanticize it and say it's a Civil War quilt. If they made a Civil War quilt it would have been much more overt than just having blue and grey fabric, but it's really just faded indigo at different levels.

GA: So on that score now how are we going to be able to preserve our quilts for the future?

HYF: Preserve them physically?

GA: Yeah I think so because I think what we're saying is that the interpretation of the quilt of the past is definitely on what we think.

HYF: So many sign their quilts, which is wonderful. I mean I have quite a few antique quilts. I know who made two of them. It's so sad that they are so anonymous. I think the fact that we're at least identifying our quilts and who made them will help preserve them. Right now we're talking with Julie Silver about donating my mother's quilts and some of her main, major quilts that were on the covers of our books to one of the quilt museums. So it can exist as a body of work. Why should it be distributed among her daughters and daughters-in-laws to be used for dog blankets or something eventually. Why not keep this together, because I think she was an important person in quilt history?

GA: Is this going to be done?

HYF: I think I've got her convinced to do this.

GA: That's good.

HYF: Yeah, because why should we split them up? Keep them together and I mean not all of them. My mother has made hundreds of quilts. All of us have quilts from her. A couple Christmases ago, she sent quilts to all my kids for Christmas. Well, my kids are quilters kids and a quilt is no big deal. [laughs.] [inaudiable.] It's like she had sent them towels. They weren't as special. I mean some day they will be, though. They are their quilts which is kind of fun. Their grandmother made just for them. They do take care of them but the initial reaction was, they were so befuddled. [laughs.] I think it's important to make sure people know who made what. I did a quilt for my nephew when he was born and I heard him talking about, 'Oh, that quilt my mom made me.' And I said, 'Your mom didn't make that quilt. I made you that quilt.' Just knowing who made it is a big step in preserving it. Then you know whose side of the family it was on and who it should go to.

GA: Well this draws to a conclusions our questions and is there anything you'd like to tell us that we haven't covered?

HYF: No. I'm pretty opinioned about everything. [laughs.] I think we covered it all. I think is important what you're doing. You're doing like next centuries' quilt project now.

GA: Well I'm glad you liked it and we're so glad you came because I've know you for years. [laughs.] In fact I think I probably took a class from you some time back.

HYF: Well, I added it up. I added up that 22 years since the first Quilt Festival, I've been to 18. That's incredible. Starting in '79 when it was still at the church. I was single and in the 80's I'd be here with babies or pregnant. Now I'm finally looking at the oldest ones graduating from high school. So it feels like I've been doing the Quilt Festival much longer than the twenty two years that I've been doing it. Seeing people who have been doing it even longer than me is amazing.

GA: Well thank you very much I appreciate it. Maybe I'll turn us off here.

Interview Keyword

Quilt purpose - Teaching or learning sample
Hand applique
Hand quilting
“A World of Flowers”
A World of Flowers (Quilt)
Hand appliqué
Strip/string piecing
Blanche Young
Family
Mothers
Dalene Young Stone
Lynette Young Bingham
Sisters
September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.
Quilt shows/exhibitions
Work-life balance
Jinny Beyer
Long arm quilting
Machine quilting
“Waiting for Rain”
Waiting for Rain (Quilt)
“Desert Shadow”
Desert Shadow (Quilt)
“Fire in the Sky”
Fire in the Sky (Quilt)
“Arizona Star”
Arizona Star (Quilt)
100 years--100 quilts : Arizona Centennial Quilt Project (Book)
“100 years--100 quilts : Arizona Centennial Quilt Project”
Southwest


Citation

“Helen Young Frost,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed May 22, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/2639.