Quilter’s Save our Stories

Have you heard of Quilter’s SOS- Save Our Stories?

Quilter’s SOS is a part of the non- profit organization, 
Quilter’s Alliance. This is a snippet directly from their mission statement.

Quilt Alliance is a nonprofit 501c3 organization established in 1993
whose mission is to document, preserve, and share our American quilt
heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary
quilts, and their makers, tell about our nation’s diverse peoples and
their communities.

 Pretty powerful mission

 Mark Dunn, president of Moda fabrics is on the executive
board of this organization and it’s many causes are near and dear to all
of us here. Recently the board members were visiting the Dallas offices
of moda as they were training more board members to document stories of
Barbara Brackman and myself were the “guinea pigs”.

photo courtesy of Quilt Alliance
We were both asked to bring one thing that could tell our story. 
you know how hard that is?
I finally decided to bring a quilt top that
was in 
the works. It was in the works for over 20 years. The 
quilt top
was part of a friendship swap that I had 
participated in 
many years ago
with my sister, 
Angie Tardy 
and 11 other friends. 
The quilt top/pieces was actually Angie’s 
and I had been working on finishing the quilt top 
for one of my sister’s kids. 
This quilt top was pretty iconic in my life 
because my sister passed away from melanoma 
in the late 1980’s. We were both married the same year as well as learned to quilt that same year. 
If we were not talking about family, we were planning 
what our next quilting project 
was going to be. 
The Alliance documented the full interview
 and you can read it here.

 The  quilt patten is a double Irish Chain and the only rule in the swap was we all had to use the same pink solid as the background. Each of us chose a different fabric to use as our setting fabric. As shown above, Angie choose a romantic floral by Concord fabrics. Those of you that have been quilting for over 25 years are sure to have owned a piece of this fabric.
Why did it take me so long to finish the quilt top? I would like to say that Angie’s boys were 6, 4 and 2 at the time so they probably were not interested in a pink floral quilt. Maybe it was to painful to work on, I don’t really know.

Kadence snuggling
Advance time 25 years later and my nephews are all grown and married, so now was the time to finish the quilt and have a little therapy. I gave the completed quilt to my nephew Kirk and his precious family. Kirk sent me this picture of his daughter, 
Kadence with the quilt. I think my sister would be thrilled
 to know that her granddaughter owned 
something she had made.

A few months later, Kirk sent me a picture he had found of Angie actually piecing this quilt top. Of course you can barely see the quilt pieces on that colorful bedspread.(so 80’s)  
I will treasure the picture as it completes the circle on my Quilter’s S.O.S.

If you are interested in the vision of the Quilt
Alliance—that quilts and quiltmakers are an important part of American history
and deserve to be documented, preserved and shared in a permanent archive—please
become an Alliance member. Membership information can be found on their
website: http://www.quiltalliance.org/support/.

Thank you to Quilt Alliance-Alliance of American Quilts for letting me permanently document my story for future generations.

thank you Kadence for being such a precious model


  1. Vicky says:

    It's wonderful that you were able to document the story behind Angie's quilt. So many stories are lost in time. Kadence now has a special connection to her grandmother – and to her very special Aunt Lissa!

  2. Carrie says:

    Wow! I love this story. The story of your quilt is beautiful, and it is exactly the sort of story that should be preserved. The quilts you make are your voice, your art, and the story of your life – the celebrations, the bonds and the losses. The Alliance is an outstanding idea and organization, and thank you to you, Barbara and Mark Dunn for supporting and promoting it.

    As for the fabric… I remember when Cranston and V.I.P. was considered really "good stuff". Oh my… do I ever feel really old.

  3. Samantha says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful story filled with lovely memories! The quilt is beautiful and what a lovely gift for your sister's son and his family.

    I'm going to go check out Quilter's Alliance right now!

    P.S. I think I might still have a bit of that fabric in my scrap bin. 😀

  4. Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your interview and the work of the Quilt Alliance here on your blog. I did your interview and I promised not to make you cry that day. But now you've made me cry. What you've said here is at the very heart of why we do what we do–document, preserve, share. Because telling this story, writing it down, putting it somewhere safe and sharing it with others is validating and valuable in so many ways. Kirk and his family have a priceless treasure, you have again honored Angie's life and the world now has a snapshot of both of your lives that go beyond the history of quilting. Thank you so much, Lisa. I am proud and honored to have interviewed you. Best, Amy Milne

  5. Morna says:

    Lissa, I loved reading your story and seeing the pictures. How wonderful to have your sister's quilt in her granddaughter's arms. The legacy is what draws me to quilting and why I do in the industry. And that fabric, I owned that fabric, only with the beige background. It made it into quilts and into a dress.

  6. Daniel Tardy says:

    Thanks for this Lissa! The way you've always helped to keep Angie's spirit alive beyond her time on this earth means more to me than you'll ever know!

  7. Sharon says:

    What a beautiful story, thank you. It makes me teary when you write about your sister's granddaughter having a quilt she made. A wonderful way to leave something behind and keep memories alive.

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