Quilting Friendships

Quilting friendships can last a lifetime. In the mid 90’s we remodeled our haymow, rewired it, moved in a frig, added tables and chairs and opened quilt camp.  Quilters came from across the United States to our farm to sew in the barn and the animals continued to live on the first floor.  It was a unique setting.

This is the story of a friendship, written by Lisa Kogan, on the right, Mary Harwood on the left.

“A friend loveth at all times.”  Proverbs 17:17

Mary and I met at Country Threads quilt camp in the fall of 2001.  When not at camp, we sent emails, talked by phone and corresponded with good old fashioned hand-written letters.  You see, Mary lived in Ohio and I lived in Minnesota.

Here are some photos taken at Country Threads over the years.

We had so much fun over the years at camp that we decided once-a-year visits weren’t enough and added a mid-year retreat, one year in Ohio, the next in Minnesota.  I even tagged along to a Country Living Fair in Ohio. (This is Mary E. speaking – Mary Harwood helped us every year at the fair in our tent and her husband, Ken, helped us pack up at the end of the fair.). 

We met each other’s families and sewed with each other’s quilting groups.  Her friends became my friends.  Her family became my family and I think she felt the same way about the Minnesota connections she made.

Through thick and thin, we were there for each other. Our beginning, middle and end was all about quilting.  May Heaven be filled with horses, dogs and quilts that have gone before you, Mary.


From left to right – Lori, Monica, Lisa, Valerie, Rosie, Mary

Mary Harwood, age 58, lost her very short but intense battle with cancer on July 2, 2016.  We will all miss her more than I can say.  Can we all stop to remember how precious our friends are to us?  For those campers who met Mary at camp, I am hopeful that this post reaches you.  

39 thoughts on “Quilting Friendships

  1. Monica

    Mary E and Lisa: thank you so much for posting this. I close my eyes and can see her and cannot believe she is gone. She was such a good listener, advisor, advocate and that infectious laugh!!! I will never forget her– will strive to carry on her perfect points, hand appliqué, punch needle and tea dying. Love you Mary Harwood. Thank you Country Threads for providing the venue for all of our friendships!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Monica – it was our pleasure to connect people over the years. Seems that quilting was the vehicle to lasting friendships and we were also the lucky recipients. This blog keeps us all connected in a small way – without it we would surely lose touch.

  2. Nikki Mahaffey

    I am so sorry for your loss, may you find comfort in your memories and God in your heart.

  3. Christina

    When I first read this I cried for you and your friend. Your friendship was very special and even though I don’t know either of you, her death has saddened my heart as well. What a special remembrance you have shared.

  4. Felicia Hamlin

    “What the heart has known. No one can take away”. Can’t remember the author of this little saying. I didn’t know Mary or Lisa, but I know Mary E and the heartbreak of losing a loved one be it friend or relative. I lost my dear friend to cancer over abyear ago and my dear brother on April first of this year.

    I smile at the memories, I cry at my loss, but I am thankful for the time we had. Lisa may God comfort you and her blood family and quilting family.

    F elicia

  5. Linda

    I am so sorry to hear this sad news. My heart goes out to her family and circle of quilting family. She was a wonderful, caring person. I enjoyed the camps I attended with her. It was great to see your pictures and memories.

  6. Barbara

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend. But grateful you shared such a touching story about the things that matter–family and friends. How lucky we were to know these people who enrich and encourage us. My prayers are with you.

  7. Launa

    Mary, Thanks for sharing about quilting friendships and the loss of your dear friend. Whether it’s e-mailing, texting or sharing about a new pattern, book or the project are presently quilting, we quilters have a common bond that continues to nurture us. Wonderful memories sustain us all because we are “cut from the same cloth”.

  8. Polly Perkins

    Oh no, so sorry to hear this. Loved Mary (and Lisa). I also hope she can gallop away and sew at the same time in heaven.

  9. Rhoda Ebersole

    Just very sad but prayers for her friends and family and after losing my dear husband last Decembet all I can say is appreciate and enjoy each day with our loved ones.
    We need to keep reminding ourselves of this daily.

    Rhoda E

  10. Kris in Naperville

    Wow… what a wonderful tribute…. when you don’t have a tissue, your sleeve will do… I had to use both.

  11. Rickie

    What a beautiful story of friendship. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m writing with tears in my eyes as I remember a lovely quilting friend I lost. You were so fortunate to be able to meet and share life experiences even for a brief time. I lost my friend before ever getting to meet her but I cherish the memories of her as I know you do.

  12. Sue

    Prayers for all who knew her. I feel our quilting and stitching friends share a special bond. Maybe that was one of the special things about quilting bees

  13. PJ

    Prayers to her family n all who knew Mary. I did not know her, but so devastating to lose such a young lady, Heaven now has a new ANGEL…🙏🏻😪🙏🏻😪🙏🏻😪

  14. Michelle King

    I am so sad about this. Mary was such a nice, friendly and caring person. I will never, ever forget all the fun times we had at camp, staying late in the barn until we could no longer stitch!! I am grateful I got to know her. We kept in touch on FB and I loved her postings!! I will always remember her smile!

  15. Joanne

    I was so sad to hear about the loss of Mary. I meet Mary at Country Threads quilt camp .We kept in touch thru email or FB. I loved her laugh, smile, and personality. We would bet gift cert. To Country Threads on the Red Sox and opposing team for World Series. I won both times and she would just laugh and pay up. The last item I bought was your kit for Mary’s house. Thank You for having quilt camp I never would have meet such a wonderful person. Rest in Peace Mary!

  16. Ann Barlament

    Quilting friends are a bond that goes deep and is most highly cherished. I am saddened by the loss of your friend…She will always be as close as a smile, a whisper and a song.

    Keeping all of you tucked safely into my thoughts and prayers!

  17. Carol

    So many losses in your your life, Mary, I’m sorry for your pain. And for the family members who are grieving.

  18. Cathy

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend & fellow camper. It sounds like she made a very positive impression on so many people. Cancer is such a horrendous disease & takes too many people long before their time. My prayers for you Lisa, Mary, her family & those who knew her.

  19. Lisa Kogan

    Many thanks to you Mary E. for so kindly posting a tribute to Mary H. It’s feels like it was just yesterday that we were all with you on the farm.

    Your blog keeps that little slice of heaven alive for me and probably for a lot of us.

  20. Kay Crandall

    What a wonderful story of love and friendship through quilting! My friend Penny and I would come from Illinois to visit my Mom in Thompson and always stop at Country Threads. Sadly, my dear friend lost her battle with cancer much too early also, and I miss her every single day. I remember taking personal days off from my teaching job and coming to a class in the newly remodeled hay loft with Linda Brannock and Jan Patek – must have been around 1996 or so. Fond memories (and I still haven’t finished that project) LOL

  21. mary

    So sorry. We had so much fun at camp too. Life goes fast. Keep your friends close.

  22. Pamela

    So sorry to learn about Mary’s passing. Those quilt camps sound like they were a lot of fun

  23. Pat Moore

    What a wonderful story. I ache for your loss. She left so many wonderful memories that will last forever.

  24. Judy Alderden

    I can’t imagine how you all feel. I pray that you continue to be blessed with the friendships you have, and that you will treasure your memories. ….Judy

  25. mary margaret

    Ah, sorry for your loss of wonderful friend. Both of you are blessed to known each other.

  26. Katie Hayse

    I am heartbroken to read this about Mary. I absolutely loved her. Last time I saw her was the Country Living Fair in 2014. We hugged and were so glad to see each other. It always felt we were friends who saw each other all the time whenever we were together. When I read the blog I have often thought of Mary and the others we had such a good time with at camp. I am so sad.

  27. Bonnie McKee

    So very sorry for your loss! But so happy you had an amazing friendship that blessed you both!
    You will be in my prayers! Xoxo
    Bonnie, in Oregon

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