By: Melissa Jurgena
For the author, what began as a graduate class assignment in material-culture studies soon became a grand adventure in friendship and discovery. The project involved researching a large friendship quilt that had little accompanying information to determine its origin. The author used several methods of investigation, beginning with a formal artifact analysis of the fabrics and construction, followed by digital image enhancement, Internet searches, telephone interviews, and even on-site research to trace the history of the quilt. In the process of identifying the maker and her life, the author learned that some of the best sources of information are found in the most interesting places. These great discoveries also show how any clue, no matter how small, can lead to new friendships and wonderful treasures of the past, just waiting to share their secrets with a new generation.