Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News
Kalona, Iowa

Newspaper Article Archive of
The Kalona News

September 21, 2017 Gingerich’s Friendship Quilt to be sold at Pleasantview benefit
Article Pages -- as published on the The Kalona News website.

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Almost 80 years ago in 1938, a young 24 year old woman named Mabel Gingerich gave several of her friends 8 ½ inch square pieces of white fabric and asked them to embroider a design on it, add their name in embroidery, and return the block of fabric. We imagine that Mabel then proceeded to lay out the 42 blocks of fabric with some yellow sashing between them, stitch it all together, and then quilt it all by hand. She may have quilted it all herself, or probably more likely, she had friends in to help her quilt and enjoy a time of visiting together. The result was a beautiful quilt called a Friendship Quilt.

Lois Gugel, who researched the names on the blocks and has birth and death dates for many of them, said most are the maiden names of the young women. Most were women from the Conservative Mennonite churches, as was Gingerich herself. She was baptized at Upper Deer Creek Church and later became a charter member of Sunnyside Church. Gingerich went on to work in the La Junta School of Nursing in Colorado, and she also worked as a doctor’s assistant in Iowa City for 22 years. Some of the blocks came from women from out of state (Pigeon, MI, Goshen, IN, Grantsville, MD, and Johnstown, PA.) One can imagine that each treasured block brought back lots of memories to Gingerich.

Gingerich spent her last years at Pleasantview Home in Kalona, and died in 2016. Her sister, Elsie, died in 2017, and the quilt was donated by Elsie’s Estate (Dale and Marlene Schrock, and Fannie Coblentz) and will be sold at the Pleasantview Home Benefit Sale on either the evening of Nov. 3 or the morning of Nov. 4. Currently, it is on display at the Pleasantview Home main lobby in Kalona. If someone would like to bid on the quilt but are unable to attend the Benefit, they may leave bidding instructions by calling 683-2681.

The quilt is white with a light yellow sashing and border, 80 inches wide by 90 inches long, has close, very nice quilting, beautiful embroidery work, and is in excellent condition with just a slight yellowing at the top. The colors are still very vibrant. The names on the quilt include the following (in alphabetical order by last name):

Idella (no last name)

Lydia Beachy & Nettie Beachy

Fannie & Ellen Bender

Edna Brenneman

Fannie Brenneman

Mamie & Maude Brenneman

Mary Brenneman

Mary & Dorothy Byler

Mattie & Irene Detweiler

Lila Gingerich

Mary, Elsie, and Arvilla (Gingerich –sisters of Mabel)

Mildred Gingerich

Annie Glick, Pa.

Martha Glick

Mrs. Daniel Graber

Ada Hershberger

Edna Hochstetler

Katie Hostetler

Alta Fern Miller

Anna F Miller

Cora Miller

Edna Miller

Emily Miller

Fannie Miller

Mrs. Harvey Miller

Katie Miller

Marie and Vira Miller

Mrs. Roy R. Miller

Sylvia, Ida, & Mary Mishler

Esther Ropp & Lydia Ropp

Agnes Shetler & Dorothy

Keim, Pigeon, Mich

Effie & Edith Swartzendruber

Ellen Swartzendruber

Ethel Wingard, Johnstown, PA

Arie & Orpha Yoder, Goshen, Ind

Mrs. Ervin J. Yoder, Nona and Vera

Fannie Yoder

Iva Yoder

Leona Yoder

Luella Yoder, Grantsville, Maryland

Mary Zook

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