Out of the concept of friendship quilts was born the idea of friendship medley quilts. These quilts were fun quilts that centered around two different social gatherings, or parties. The first gathering occurred when a young girl in a region would decide upon a friendship medley surprise party for one of her friends. One example for an occasion would be to declare this type of party when a mutual friend became engaged to be married. The second gathering occurred after the quilt top was finished (the first party) and a quilting bee announced (this was traditionally done by the person receiving the quilt). These types of parties could very well have been the forerunners to what we know as "showers" today.
When a friendship medley quilt was made, special care was given so that no two blocks in the quilt were alike. Sometimes the blocks were simply sewn together side-by-side, and sometimes they were put together with strips of other fabric (called a "set"), usually supplied by the party-giver. By evening, the top was complete, and it was time for "supper". Of course, what would a party be without inviting a few young men over to enjoy the feast?
So, as you can see, the announcement of a friendship medley surprise party sparked excitement from the community. It was viewed as part of the social network that provided events to keep the youngsters entertained, while accomplishing a set purpose at the same time!
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