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A Fabulous Folk School Story Quilt

by Keather Gougler on July 16, 2015

in New & Noteworthy

KS2A8787Instructor Mary Lou Weidman of Spokane, Washington recently sent us a quilt depicting the story of the Folk School. Three and a half years in the making, the wonderfully colorful and imaginative quilt is hanging on display in the Community Room of Keith House.

“I was told about JCC by instructor DeeDee Triplett who told me that making money teaching was not the main reason for being there. And the first time I taught there I knew just what she meant. The people, the feeling of community and joy was what it was about. Meeting people from all over in the dining room and hearing experiences and seeing people help each other and in the end hug and wave “Goodbye” was lovely. People were happy with projects and a week of loveliness in the meadows and gardens and just walking along the paths is joyful. Imagining those that came before you is a nice thing to do also while you look at butterflies and nature and lovely wrought iron and folk art here and there. It is a pleasure to come and enjoy all there is, including music and dancing at night. This is a great place to work on gratitude and all that God can provide in one lovely place.


I decided to work on a quilt because there is so much to tell stories about there. Once I got into designing it, I realized that it should be a series of quilts because there is so much to tell and not enough room in one quilt. But I did the best I could and wanted to have John and Olive and Marguerite and the deed for the property from Fred Scroggs as that seemed very important to say. I worked for over three years on this quilt and Kathy Woods quilted it for me. Connie Donaldson my neighbor worked on it too and we both read many of the catalogues and other things online for ideas. Then we had too many ideas and so we did the best we could.


There are bits and pieces of many things and all in all it tells a lot if you can understand and follow my images, from covered wagon to trailers of today. I have angels in the sky because I turned 60 while I was there and was gifted with a lovely hand carved angel and I always imagined after that angels in among the stars at night. So much to say and I could have offered more people names but as time goes on, the people and faces change but the land, the buildings and the classes will be the main stay. 

Folk art is important to me as I think it is more personal than a lot of other styles and I am pleased to have created something that shows how I feel and think.” 

                       —Mary Lou Weidman, Quilter and Folk School Instructor




{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Lou Weidman September 7, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Would love to teach a vegetable/flower garden quilt class there someday. It is so much fun. John C.Campbell has inspired me greatly. Love the feeling in the air!


gay bryant August 1, 2015 at 7:12 am

What a lovely story the quilt tells–and what beautiful images and colors. It captures the beautiful spirit of the folk school perfectly.


Deloris Smith July 30, 2015 at 6:07 pm

I want her to make a vegetable quilt for me please pass along to her. Mr email is


Karin Peirce July 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm

What beauty! It is such a treat to see this lovely creation…bravo!


Erma Deutsch July 29, 2015 at 9:27 pm

Your story quilts are truly a work of love! I have enjoyed using Mary Lou’s book many times and follow her on facebook. I made a story quilt for my niece when she retired because her mother had died . I WILL LEARN HOW TO TAKE A PICTURE WITH MY CAMERA, AND PUT IT ON THE INTERNET. IF I HAVE TO HIRE SOMEONE TO HELP BECAUSE FAMILY IS ALWAYS TOO BUSY! Her quilt was amazing and the fun I had creating and remembering was such a joyous and emotional journey. Thanks Mary Lou for your continuous inspiration. You are proving through example that all mountains are climbable…….with patience and perserverance…..and God!


Toni Parker July 29, 2015 at 9:03 pm

What a generous tribute to the Folk School-just another reason to visit again,soon! Thank you for sharing Ms. Weidman’s creative work with us. I have known for years how special the school has always been and this proves it!


Susan Brubaker Knapp July 29, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Mary Lou is a treasure, and her work is magical. How wonderful that you have her quilt up for everyone who comes to the school to see and enjoy.


Kate Holdgreve July 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Lovely quilt. It certainly tells the folk school story. Taking a class from Mary Lou is on my bucket list!


Sandi Henschel July 29, 2015 at 3:31 pm

In June 2013 I attended a retreat with Mary Lou in Post Falls and she shared this quilt as a work in progress. I am amazed with all the details she added to finish it off. It is truly a magnificent story quilt. I’m so proud of what she accomplished over the two years she worked on it since I saw it last.

Her dear husband mark was diagnosed with brain cancer and she maintained a positive forward looking attitude. Then her recent diagnosis of breast cancer and treatment and the quilts she worked on along side this one while waging her own battle.

Thank you for this lovely sharing of her creativity, whimsy and strength.


Mary Lou Nuzum July 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm

This quilt is lovely and a true work of art. I have taken classes with Mary Lou Wideman three times ane will take others in the future. She is an excellent teacher and an asset to the folk school staff.


Margie M. July 29, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Many of us who hang out at the school have admired this quilt, and wondered who made it. It’s the most beautiful quilt I’ve ever seen. “Stunning” doesn’t even adequately describe the intricate detail and combination of vibrant colors.


Peggy Leverett July 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

This quilt is absolutely stunning! So many hours & hours of work. The folk school is truly a magical place.


Deloris Smith July 29, 2015 at 12:02 pm

I love the vegetable quilt. Would like to wsk the creator to make one for me.
Also clicked on unsubscribe. Please make sure i still get the emails from the folkschool.
Deloris Smith


Keather Gougler July 29, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Hello Deloris, Unfortunately our e-newsletter program will not allow us to re-subscribe you. Please go to our website and re-subscribe by entering your email address. You will be asked to confirm your subscription. Thanks!


Laura Hall July 29, 2015 at 11:41 am

absolutely lovely. Quite a tribute to such a special place. Thanks for sharing! laura


Candy Markley July 29, 2015 at 10:25 am

What a charming and beautiful tribute to the Folk School. It’s a heartfelt piece of work that makes me even more anxious to get back, a double treat of the usual unbeatable experience, plus the opportunity to see this quilt in person. Nicely done, Ms. Weidman!


Paula Miller July 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

Mary Lou’s masterpiece quilt captures everything people love about the magical Folk School: the vibrancy you feel after a week learning something new; the richness of immersing yourself in a craft and the luxury of uninterrupted time to create; the privilege of walking the beautiful grounds each day and bask in nature; the peace of being in the center of years and years of harmonious energy spawned by the staff. The quilt is both inspired and inspiring.


Eleanor Brazell July 29, 2015 at 8:55 am

It was such a pleasure to take Mary Lou’s class at the folk school and now to see her wonderful quilt !! It is certainly unique and a wonderful statement on what the school is all about, history, creativity and fun. The more you look at it, the more you see of the school and what it means to so many people.


Donna Campbell July 29, 2015 at 8:46 am

Stunning quilt! I know the hours of work that went into making it. But oh, the satisfaction. Makes me want to come back to the folk school again. Congratulations!


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