I am always thrilled to "interview" great people for my #CelebratingOthers; posting most Fridays when I can. Today was no different with Elfrieda Harris, quilter extraordinaire and our Featured Quilter at the Southern Comforters Quilt Show coming up in two weeks: March 23, 24, 2019 at Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. http://southerncomforters.org/
Elfrieda was born in 1945, and raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey, an only child born to her parents...but "not spoiled," according to Elfrieda. I believe her because she is one of the most gracious and caring persons I know; and I think many would agree with me who know Elfrieda!
When Elfrieda graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1962, she continued her education at Rutgers University; graduating with a Math degree in 1966, and incidentally, was one of only four women graduating from that very rigorous and prestigious program at Rutgers. Her boyfriend, John, who eventually became her husband, who also graduated from Bloomfield, went on to MIT, graduating with an Electrical Engineering degree in 1966 also. Elfrieda was too funny as she stated a few times while we talked that "her whole life happened in the 60's." After graduation, they married and moved to Maryland with jobs in hand; Elfrieda as a programmer at Goddard; and John at the National Security Agency. Life was good and they both appreciated and enjoyed the "gifts" bestowed on them each day.
Elfrieda reminisced on how much she loved working as a programmer (the early years in FORTRAN); while at Goddard, working for contractors throughout her illuminating career; the last 10 years before she retired with Booze-Allen. She loved the beautiful campus, the environment, and her easy commute from Greenbelt (where they first lived when they moved to MD; and Bowie from 1969 on).
She and John had two children; Jonathan born in 1970 and Pamela born in 1973. Elfrieda took a 10 year "leave" to raise her family, but jumped right back in in 1980 and never looked back. Unfortunately, John was diagnosed and lost his battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma before his 50th birthday in 1994. It was a devastating loss to Elfrieda and her children as one could imagine, but she carried on as best as she could. Three years later, she met Larry at the Ski Club of Annapolis, and they remain a couple today. Larry has been a blessing and a terrific grandfather to Elfrieda's four grandchildren and they enjoy each day together as well.
Interestingly, as a programmer, Elfrieda loved puzzles that stretched and challenged her on the job each day. She also loves to solve puzzles noting math and quilting are all about solving puzzles. This purple-loving gal began quilting 30 years ago when a coworker introduced her to the world of fabric and ultimately quilting. She made her daughter a Christmas quilt and has been quilting ever since. She's learned a few tips and tricks along the way (no longer ties her quilts), has an awesome color sense, and enjoyed garment sewing and construction through her children's toddler years.
It's interesting to me that so many quilters have enjoyed crafts and needlework before going down the path of quilting. In fact, Elfrieda's mom was not a sewist or quilter, but took up the avocation after her retirement. Guess who taught her how to sew? Her daughter, Elfrieda, did of course! Full circle moment for her Mom, and Elfrieda's son, who also likes to sew and can make beautiful Halloween costumes when pressed into "service." (exquisite costume making when his children were young).
Today, Elfrieda prefers to work in bright colors (she is a gal after my own heart), and is grateful for each day. She dotes on her grandchildren and grown children, makes beautiful quilts, and has been a member of the Southern Comforters Quilt Guild for over 10 years. She is a delightful person, and if local, please check out her quilts at our show in two weeks (website highlighted above). You don't want to miss the chance to meet Elfrieda, or her quilts!
BSoleille! The bright side of #CelebratingOthers with Elfrieda Harris!
Photos of Larry and Elfrieda below, her family and some of her quilts...
A daily record of gratitude; from quilting to photography to a mix of technology, books, movies and the musings of life!
Welcome to my Blog of my daily gratitude and photo of the day!
Since January 1, 2012, my goal is to write a daily sentence or two (or paragraph or two) about gratitude of the day and to include one photo (at least) that I took that day (but will add others from time to time). It has definitely been a challenge most days throughout the past eight years, and welcomed the challenge again this year - 2020 - Covid and all. I hope you will continue the ride with me!