A Handkerchief Quest Questers create priceless quilt

By Lauren Mcgregor

Before the Franshaw state Handkerchief Quilt’s debut to high acclaim at the 2012 state Convention and subsequent request that it be displayed and auctioned at the 2014 International Convention, Lynn Detwiler couldn’t have anticipated the reception her chapter’s ambitious plan would warrant.

Franshaw created souvenir state map handkerchiefs during the 1940s and 1950s. The quilt topper is made of muslin fabric attaching all 51 handkerchiefs. Each handkerchief is 13”x13” and the finished quilt size is 99”x113”. Photos by Lauren Mcgregor

Detwiler, a 12-year member of Questers, vice president of the Rose Terrace chapter and grosse pointe Farms resident, “wanted to create camaraderie within the chapter.” she says, “It was a way to learn about each other.”

The quilt’s handkerchiefs, comprised of 51 Franshaw state Hankies (including one for Canada), took three months to collect.

Detwiler wrote to Questers presidents in each state inquiring about the hankies. About eighty percent of the hankies that Detwiler acquired were from Questers connections. The other twenty percent were discovered in antique shops and internet searches.

Professional quilter Laura Rodin of the Hired Hand agreed to put the quilt together. “It was the largest she’d ever made,” Detwiler notes.

The quilt will be on display at various locations until its raffle at the Questers International Convention Luncheon at the Amway plaza in grand Rapids, Mich. on April 27, 2014. Proceeds will benefit Questers International Convention and ultimately Preservation and Restoration projects.

“It was an international organization and an international quilt,” says Bonnie Medura, 7-year Questers Fox Creek member and grosse pointe Woods resident. “It’s about collecting and a quest,” Detwiler says. she reminds, “We are the Questers.”

The Questers is an international 501(c)(3) organization with six grosse pointe chapters. Its purposes include the restoration and preservation of historic landmarks and artifacts and the support of scholarship and fellowship programs at Columbia University and the University of Delaware/Winterthur.

To learn more about the Questers or inquire about joining, call Dorothy Tepatti, east area coordinator and vice president of pettipointe Chapter, at (586) 977-3506.