A Needle in Time

Please enjoy the quilt my grandmother, Alice Furlough, made for me. I remember a story she told me about my cousin, Frankie. When Frankie was just a little boy, he wanted to quilt, like her. She told me that she fixed him a place near her, and a needle with thread, and handed it to him. The key was….he would sit there and quilt as long as she would, but she would chuckle when she told me that she didn’t tie a knot in the end of his thread. My cousin, Frankie made me the beautiful quilt rack you see in the picture. I love this little story, because the quilt, now sits in my home, on the quilt rack that Frankie made for me.

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My Grandmother, Alice, Birthday would be Thursday, November 15 and she would be 92. Wonder what she is doing in heaven now?


7 thoughts on “A Needle in Time”

  1. Oh Needles what a beautiful story. Your grandmother was a very wise and very talented woman. I see God used both your grandmother’s and Frankie’s talents. What a beautiful expression of love by each. Thank goodness you can pass this story on to your sons. I think when I get to heaven I’ll hear my Mom – the familiar clicking of the needle against her thimble will sound out. I’m sure you will hear you grandmother busy at work as well. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Needles,
    You are well nick-named, then; once for your profession (needles) and once for your heritage of the NEEDLE that your lovely grandmother whom we loved so dearly has bequeathed to you.
    This is a lovely folk story of love and life and family and understanding.
    My mother also made lovely crocheted things and knitted and tatted. She even made little booties for the feet of my chairs so that they would not scratch the hardwood floors or kitchen tiles. OH! Maybe there is a confabulation amongst our “darling dolls” of Jesus in Heaven, even now, as they swap quilting stories. And maybe they are shaking their heads as they observe their offspring over the banisters of Heaven and wonder WHY…well my mother, anyway…. WHY I haven’t the vaguest skill with the needle.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. This story reveals ‘a story.’ My story and your story.

    Frankie, became an artisan, with great skill, partially from learning the art ‘at the knee’ of his grandmother. God had given little Frankie a gift, a talent and his grandmother with her tool of the trade and her teaching helped develop craft in this young man.

    We are able to see a life story that lives through the legacy of a grandmother. We understand even today that Frankie makes a living using this trade and skill that God gave him. Frankie, a skilled craftsperson has taken on many forms of art in his career.

    This story is a mirror for our story. I love the quilt, it is beautiful and very special for a granddaughter to have. And very special for the granddaughter to have a story and skill to impart to her sons which are at the age to learn a trade,skill and/or develop their talents.

    I would also like to say I knew ‘Alice’ when I was growing up as a young girl (I was/am a friend of her daughter and granddaughter) and she was a very skilled worker in many areas of her life. But, the thing I remember most about her was her love of God, her singing the old hymns, praying and always talking about God while at work or play. She was faithful to her church. She taught me Sunday School lessons. Just think of this great legacy that was left to her family, church and community. Her prayers and love of God also lives on as her blood still speaks.

  4. Needles, your grandmother’s beauty and love shines through even in this quilt. I am honored and grateful that Sara introduced her to me and some of the other lilies in her later years. I have fond memories of sitting in her home and learning some of those old hymns from her singing them. One of them, “No Never Alone”, is a favorite and reminds me that although Jesus said He would never leave us, neither does Alice leave us. For through her loving handiwork, a part of her lives on.
    I also noticed the hearts cut out of the wood in Frankie’s woodworking.. Though I did not know Frankie, this speaks also of a love and beauty, just like Jesus’ heart will always be represented against a background of a wooden cross.
    Thank you for sharing your heritage with us.

  5. Needles…this is such a beautiful living story…She didnt tie a knot in his thread….she allowed him to grow….she wasnt just making a quilt…she was making a complete man, one equipt with the determination to achieve and produce with the gift that was placed in him….what a beautiful quilt….one of life, and one of material…each to pass on to the next generation…..thank you for sharing this living story….(I have started to make quilts of a different style but I pray they will have a place in history and heaven in the changing of lives as your mothers quilt has and still does )…dj

    PS.. Needles,….the name of the pattern design is double wrench….also a variation of it is called walls of Jericho….but this particular pattern is called Double Wrench…..its beautiful…dj

  6. Needles this is a beautiful story about your grandmother and your cousin, Frankie. What a wonderful teacher your grandmother was. So patient and generous with her time. What a wonderful student Frankie was. Learning how to use his fine motors skills, learning the importance of each thread in the quilt and the importance of patience. Now I see where Needles gets her teaching talents from. What an awesome lesson to learn from this story! Needles, I love this story. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  7. Hi Needles,
    I asked an expert in quilts about your grandmother’s pattern. This beautiful lady, Bebe wrote the following:
    I checked a couple of my quilting books and the quilt pattern you asked about is probably the “Churn Dash”. Quilt patterns often have more than one name. In my books the center square was a little larger than the one in your picture, but the pattern itself was the same.

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