The Wedding Quilt – Episode 49

Drusilla met them at the station, anxiously clutching a laundry basket containing her own entries.

“My goodness, you have been busy!” Mamie said. “If nothing else you deserve to win a prize for the most entries.”

“I thought you were planning to show molasses cookies,” Beasie said.

Drusilla pulled a face.

“I made two batches, and they weren’t fit to enter. They tasted all right, but do you think I could find six that were the same shape and size to display on a plate? I’ve made molasses cookies a thousand times, so it was really annoying!”

“Never mind,” Mamie told her. “Your father will be happy with the result. He’s always been partial to a good cookie. And what about Frank? Will he be home for the fair?”

“He’ll be home on Monday, and we’ll go in on Tuesday and make a day of it. See the sights and come home on the last train. Why don’t you come with us, Beasie?”

“I’m not sure I’ll bother this year. I think I’ve outgrown the fair. I’ve been going since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, and once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.”

“Nonsense, child,” Mamie said. “Of course you must go. Don’t you want to see what’s become of the apron you’ve entered?”

“I know I won’t win anything. I never do.”

“Then you should look over the competition and get ideas for next year. If at first you don’t succeed . . .”

“You must come,” Drusilla said. “Frank is bringing a friend home with him and I shan’t know what to say to the man. Please don’t leave me on my own with the fellow, Beasie. Somebody has to entertain him.”

“Surely Frank can talk to him?”

Mamie frowned.

“You’ll go with your friends and like it, Beatrice Burke. Drusilla has asked for your help, so let me hear no more silly excuses!”

The shriek of a train caused them to gather up their parcels and Mamie took a firmer grip on the bundle containing her precious quilt.

It was foolish, she knew, but the last time she’d felt quite like this was the day she’d delivered the young Beasie to school for the first time. Her handiwork was being sent out into the world to be judged!


Matt and Mamie joined the crowds surging through the gates on the first day of the fair. Beasie had been left at home, grumbling.

“I don’t see why I can’t come, too!”

“Somebody has to mind the store, child, and your father particularly wants to be at the fair this morning to see the horse judging.”

“Oh, Mum! You know there won’t be customers today; they’ll all be at the fair. And if they’re in Ararat anyway, they’ll do their shopping there.”

Mamie settled her felt cloche over her hair and ignored her daughter. With a three-mile walk ahead of her to catch the train, she needed to save her breath.

The girl was quite right; there would be no customers today. But there was no sense in providing her with an excuse to let Drusilla down the next day.

A pleasant evening spent in Frank’s company was just what the doctor ordered. Drusilla was well able to entertain Frank’s chum, which meant that the star-crossed lovers would have to chat to each other.

On arrival at the fair Matt went straight to the exhibition building to learn the fate of his vegetables.

On seeing they’d done well, he wandered off to watch the horses being put through their paces. The livestock classes at the fair were always popular, with cattle and sheep to be shown in turn.

Mamie, too, had won several awards, though she fumed when she saw that her cranberry jelly hadn’t placed. The winner was Edith Mayberry, a false friend with whom Mamie had shared her own recipe earlier in the year.

If that woman had won first place having used Mamie’s secret ingredient, there was no justice!

She felt better when she looked at the sewing exhibits and saw that Beasie’s work had been awarded second place in the fancy apron class.

Drusilla had done really well, taking first prize for pillow slips with crocheted edging. The girl should be proud to put them in her hope chest to add to the many items she’d already accumulated.

Now all that remained was for Mamie to go to the main hall, where the quilts were hung.

She paused to view the flowers on show, staring at sprays of gladioli without registering who had grown the blooms.

When she could no longer postpone the evil moment, she forced herself to move on.

She gasped when she looked up at her work of art. Not only had it won first prize in its class, but an ornate card proclaimed that it was also Best In Show.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.