Monday, January 23, 2023


By Mary Davis

Mini Quilt made by ME!
I’ve been sewing since I was in first grade. I ran my mom’s sewing machine at top speed, much to the consternation of my dad. “Slow down!” My reply was always, “If it’s not supposed to go this fast, then why did they make it able to go this fast.” Though I sewed as speedy as possible, I never thought of sewing as dangerous. That was until I read these stories where wildlife and quilting came together.

~~~This first story took place in Georgia in 1885. A group of ladies decided to bring a shy bachelor out of his shell and planned a quilting at his house. Well, he was no dummy and outsmarted them by escaping to the far side of his property. Unfortunately for him, he was chased back home by a vicious coach-whip snake that had sunk its fangs into the back of his coat. “He fell into the yard, when one of the girls rescued him and killed the snake.” I wonder if she snagged his heart as well. (Story originally in Marion Daily Star, Marion, Ohio, April 7, 1885, page 1)

I had never heard of this type of snake, so I looked it up. They are supposed to be one of the fastest snakes, reaching speeds of four miles per hour.

~~~Story number two happened in Kentucky in 1888. Some ladies gathered at a home that was a lean-to of sorts built against a mountain cliff. While the ladies quilted downstairs, the children played upstairs. The ladies heard a heavy thump but dismissed it as the children. Immediately, the children screamed and tumbled down the ladder from the loft. After the children, a big black bear popped his head through the opening—with a torn piece of clothing in its mouth from the last child down—and promptly somersaulted down. He had apparently lost his footing on the cliff above the house and fell through the roof.

The younger women screamed and ran for the door. The older women had steadier nerves and seized the children. The bear went to the kitchen for the savory meal cooking there and burned his nose. Meanwhile, the lady of the house grabbed her husband’s rifle from the smokehouse, poked it through the window, and shot the bear dead.

Even with the uninvited bear’s alarming arrival, the quilting wasn’t permanently dispersed, and the women gathered once again. The man of the house returned soon after the kerfuffle for lunch. He skinned the bear, and “. . . some of the choicest steaks graced the dinner Mrs. Holiday spread at her quilting.” What a woman! (Story originally in The Landmark, Statesville, North Carolina, November 22, 1888, page 1)

~~~Now on to North Carolina in 1889 for the third story. A man decided to take his pet raccoon to a quilting. The women were plying their needles to fabric when the coon ran inside covered in bees. (He had a sweet tooth for honey, and the bees were none too happy.) In his flight from danger, the coon dashed under the quilt. “…the chairs flew, and the dresses flapped and such a dancing was never seen before.” I guess this was a literal quilting bee. LOL! (Story originally in The Landmark, Statesville, North Carolina, July 4, 1889, page 4)

Apparently, quilting is far more dangerous than I ever imagined. Even though I was a daredevil with a sewing machine, that was the extent of my bravado. Stabbing myself with a needle was never fun but was, thankfully, the worst I had to worry about. I never realized this chicken girl participated in an “extreme sport.”

Resource: Quiltings, Frolicks & Bees: 100 Years of Signature Quilts by Sue Reich 


Historical Romance

THE WIDOW’S PLIGHT (Book1) – Will a secret clouding a single mother’s past cost Lily the man she loves?

THE DAUGHTER’S PREDICAMENT (Book2) *2020 Selah Awards Finalist & WRMA Finalist* – As Isabelle’s romance prospects are turning in her favor, a family scandal derails her dreams.

THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (Book3) *2021 Selah Awards Winner& WRMA Finalist*– Nicole heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband. Can she learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?

THE DÉBUTANTE’S SECRET (Book4) –Complications arise when a fancy French lady, Geneviève, steps off the train and into Deputy Montana’s arms.

THE LADY’S MISSION (Book5) – Will Cordelia abandon her calling for love?

MARY DAVIS, bestselling, award-winning novelist, has over thirty titles in both historical and contemporary themes. Her latest release is THE LADY’S MISSION. Her other novels include MRS. WITHERSPOON GOES TO WAR, THE DÉBUTANTE'S SECRET (Quilting Circle 4) THE DAMSEL’S INTENT (Quilting Circle 3) is a Selah Award Winner. Some of her other recent titles include; The Widow’s Plight, The Daughter's Predicament,Zola’s Cross-Country Adventure” in The MISSAdventure Brides Collection , Prodigal Daughters Amish series, and "Bygones" in Thimbles and Threads. She is a member of ACFW and active in critique groups.
Mary lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of thirty-eight years and one cat. She has three adult children and three incredibly adorable grandchildren. Find her online at:


  1. Thanks for the fun post today, and Happy New Year! I loved the stories, and imagining the scenes gave me a good laugh (especially since I only experienced them secondhand!!)

  2. What a fun and interesting post. I have avid quilters in my family and my mother was a pro at it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. WOW, Who would have thought. I love your books. Thank you for this post.