One of my favorite folk tales is that of stone soup. There are variations from many countries and traditions across Europe and central Asia. The basic premise is of a poor and hungry traveler whose pleas for food are ignored. All the traveler has with him is an empty cooking pot. Finally, he fills the pot with water and puts it on the fire to heat. One by one, villagers ask him what he is cooking. He shows the first one a smooth, clean stone and says he is going to cook stone soup. After making a show of cooking the stone and tasting the broth, another villager asks if it is good. “Good, yes, but it would be better if only I add some carrot tops.” The questions go on, with a different ingredient in response each time. The villagers each provide the needed item, and finally the broth is done. Delicious indeed! They all are treated to a feast of stone soup.
Quilting with others is much like making stone soup. Each participant may not have much to give, but together they can make a thing of value. Time, talent, material, ideas, we all add to the soup.
I’ve mentioned before that I belong to my local quilt guild, and as a group, we are very generous. With approximately 150 members in the group, each year we donate more than 200 quilts to local organizations, in addition to special projects. A large proportion of the items donated are made through the efforts of multiple people. Today I’m sharing photos and stories of a few of my favorite “stone soup” donation quilts.