Circles of Stories
Donated to: Mennonite Women USA
Created by: Bonnie Neufeld
Designed by: Bonnie & Chuck Neufeld
Date: 2019
Size: 84” x 92”

Incorporating tiny strips of hundreds of different fabrics from past decades into a modern design of overlapping circles reminds me of the challenge that is ours when treasuring and including all our stories into fresh structures for each new generation.

In making this quilt, I challenged myself to resist matching and blending fabrics. Instead, I purposefully included jarring colors and textures
and patterns, taking great delight in placing them side by side! Strips of sturdy doubleknit were placed next to delicate hankies; bits of embroidered tea towels and wall calendars from the 80’s found their place alongside African cloth and feed sacks; tiedyed rainbow fabric and gingham cross-stitch aprons settled in amidst bits of old blouses and flannel shirts.

As I gathered scraps from friends and estate sales to add to my own stash, I was eager to hear the stories that came with bits of old curtains and tablecloths and unfinished projects and clothing and quilt projects made by and for our grandparents — and parents — and children — and grandchildren.

It has been a delight to discover that fabric that normally would have been on my “least favorite” list has been transformed by learning why it was precious to someone else. Hearing the story makes all the difference!

As far as the construction of this quilt: I began by piecing hundreds of 1” – 2” wide strips diagonally on squares of old sheets, always including a center strip of rainbow fabric to remind me of God’s longing to bring us together. My husband Chuck then designed a pattern of overlapping circles. To create these I cut wedges out of the squares and resewed
them into circles of different sizes.These were then appliqued onto a black background. This has been a labor of love!