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A little help keeping her mother’s memory alive

Local quilter makes woman’s fabric squares into an heirloom piece

By Corene Brisendine

For many years, Eula Mae Hedman saved a set of fabric squares with flowers her mother had hand-painted in hopes of turning them into a quilt. Hedman said she had been looking for someone to put them together for some time, but had not had any luck until recently.

Hedman knew that several ladies at the Riley County Seniors Center make quilts, but none of them seemed interested in tackling the project.

She then turned to other friends. Hedman used to be the housemother for Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and she was friends with another housemother who led her to a professional quilter

Hedman commissioned the woman, Melody Day, to make the squares into a finished project. Day said she has had the squares for several months, but has been unable to create the quilt because she was waiting for it to “speak” to her.

“The quilt tells you what it wants to be,” she said. “It took that long for it to tell me.”

Day said the quilt told her that it wanted to have a bright green background with butterflies as the pattern of stitching.

Day said she makes quilts using a long-arm machine. The machine looks like a sewing machine, but the neck of the machine is elongated.

She hand-stitched the edge of the quilt once the quilting was finished.

Although Day made the quilt, Hedman was no stranger to a quilting square.

Her mother, Alcasta Wilson, used to sew, and Hedman did as well. But at 91, Hedman said she hasn’t quilted in so long that she preferred someone else to do it.

She said when she and her mother made quilts in the 1930s, they made them to be used. With the quilt finished, Hedman said she plans to keep it for a while before giving it to one of her nieces. She said she wanted to give it to someone who will take care of it, but at the same time use it.

Hedman said she also used to do arts and crafts with her mother when she was younger. She said Manhattan used to have crafts at the Community House every week. She would go there and spend the day making pictures with copper plates, embellishing feathered hats and doing other projects. Hedman said her mother was from St. George and she grew up there as well.

Hedman now spends most of her time playing cards on Wednesdays at the seniors center and traveling. She said that she has visited all 50 states. She also enjoys spending time with her son, Larry, who has been visiting her this summer.

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