Monday, November 30, 2020

Chapter 1: The Autograph Quilt, The Beginning

Chapter 1

 When quilt groups get together 
you can never be sure
 where the conversations might lead.

But I can recall a spring meeting
of my quilt group in 1994.  
Someone brought up the fact there
were currently 5 living presidents and
that there had been 6 in April before the
death of Richard Nixon.

Do you know who they were?
No peeking...


We got to thinking how
cool would it be to get their autographs
and put them into a quilt.

Well, ideas got tossed around and 
in the end myself and two friends, Debbie and Liz
decided to see what we could actually do.

First, we decided that most potential
celebrities wouldn't care about 3 middle aged
women asking for their autographs, but
if we could get our junior high daughters involved,
we might have better success.

The girls were on board.

But there were quite a few questions that 
needed to be answered.

1.  What fabrics were we going to have someone sign?
And how were we going to prep it?

We decided we would each choose our own fabric,
cut 6.5" x 2.5" rectangles,
and back each with freezer paper.

We would include 3 pieces of fabric in each envelope, one
from each girl, 
and a self addressed stamped envelope.
We would ask each person to sign 3 times with a 
permanent pen.

2.To whom would we send these requests?

Seeing this was "the girls"  project
it was interesting to see who they perceived
as the movers and shakers of 1994.
I'm sure at first we tried to steer them in
a general direction, but they each
seemed to make interesting choices.

They each wrote a letter.

Here's what my daughter wrote:

My name is Elizabeth and I am in the 8th grade.  My two
friends, Lisa and Abbey and myself are each making a signature quilt.  
We are asking famous people who we think have made
a contribution to our society and culture to help us.
 We would appreciate it if you could
autograph the 3 enclosed pieces of fabric with a
permanent pen.  We have also enclosed an envelope for you
to return the fabric as soon as possible.  
Thank you for helping us put together a 
signature quilt of 1994.

The Big Question:
3.  Where were we going to send them?

You have to remember that in 1994 the 
World Wide Web had only gone public 
for about 3 years.

So we had to do some research to find addresses.
  Can you believe there
were books at the library with "famous"
peoples addresses of where to write
to get autographs!
We even used out of state phonebooks
which libraries had at the time.
This wouldn't be the case today.

Politicians were easy to write to at their offices,
 sports celebrities to team headquarters, and
movie stars to an agent or fan club.

We got very creative.

My daughter and I sent our our first batch
of letters in June, 1994 and
left on a family vacation.  
When we returned there was
one of our envelopes.

The then Governor of Colorado

The second one came days later.

Quarterback Broncos #7

Do you remember what first initiated this project?
The 5 Living Presidents.

Did we get any of their autographs?

But we did get George W. Bush who 
was then Governor of Texas.

But we did get First Ladies.

Next time I'll share some of the autograph
stories, how many we received, 
and are they real. 
The girls kept going until 1996.
It was a great project and learning experience for us all.

Until Next time-


  1. You got me hooked ..... I want to read more!

  2. Oh what a wonderful piece of history! I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story. And, I would much rather have First Lady autographs than Commanders in Chief! I got very excited when I saw Roy Romer as my first thought was "Roy Rogers", my childhood hero.

  3. What a fun experience. I'm trying to figure out the "N" in Nancy Regan's name. Very unusual.

  4. What fun! Looking forward to the next chapter in the saga of the signatures. I thought that first signature was Roy Rogers too.

  5. Wow what a cool project! Can't wait to see the rest. Seeing the First Ladies' signatures is very heartwarming.

  6. What an interesting project! How very clever to get your daughters involved. I can’t wait to see where this is going!!

  7. What a great project!
    Aw... Lady Bird! A true Southern Lady!

  8. That sounds like a great project! Very clever of you to get your daughters involved. I'm not sure my daughter would have been on board for something like that. She has pooh-poohed many of my great plans that tried to involve her. I couldn't list all the presidents. The signatures you showed so far are fabulous! That quilt (those quilts) belong in museums!

  9. How very interesting. Those signatures used in quilts will have historical signifigance some day. More of the story keeps me waiting on pins and needles.

  10. What a great project. Smart to get your daughters involved too. Really interesting to see who replied. And just as interesting, who didn't.

  11. This is really a clever thing you did, Kyle. I am anxious to hear "the rest of the story." You didn't get Paul Harvey, did you. LOL

  12. That's so cool! :-) I've learned from watching "Pawn Stars" that the signatures need to stay as is... do not stitch over them thinking it would make the signature last longer. Most likely, you already knew that... but, thought I'd be safe rather than sorry... looking forward to seeing more! :-)

  13. What a fabulous idea and I love that your daughters got involved! So much fun to see the first ladies signatures. Can't wait to see more!

  14. Very cool story! What a fun, fun quilt idea.:)

  15. That was a very creative and brave project to take on . . . looking forward to seeing the quilts.

  16. what fun! I was very involved with signature quilts in the late 90s. I can't wait to hear and see more!

  17. Great story! I too have a fondness for signature quilts...looking forward to the second part of the story!

  18. Great project. But you say 5 living presidents? What about Obama?