Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Relationship Between Mrs. Compson and Sarah McClure in The Quilter's Apprentice

You're invited to join Mrs. Compson and Sarah McClure at Elm Creek Manor for a glass of iced tea or lemonade.  Sarah will be finishing her Lemoyne Star block for her sampler quilt.  The pattern can be found here.  She'll be starting on her Posies Round the Square block found here.  Member Mama T is coming with her hexie quilt project and a plate of her delicious Oatmeal Fruit Bars. 

Mama T's Oatmeal Fruit Bars
2 cups oats, quick or old fashioned (I use quick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans and walnuts predominantly)
3/4 cup butter, melted (do NOT substitute margarine)

1 (10-12 ounce) jar of favorite fruit preserves

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Butter an 11" x 7" baking dish.
3.  Combine dry ingredients with nuts and mix.  Add melted butter and mix thoroughly with a fork.  Mixture will be crumbly in consistency. 
4.  Reserve 1 cup of oats mixture.  Press remaining mixture firmly into bottom of baking dish.
5.  Bake for 10 minutes.
6.  Spread preserves evenly over partially baked base to within 1/2" of edge of pan.  Sprinkle with reserved oats mixture; press softly.
7.  Bake 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool; cut into bars and store in tightly covered tin at room temperature with wax paper between the layers of bars. 

Mama T got this recipe from the back of a Quaker Oatmeal canister in March of 1986, and it has become her old standby.  She recommends that you make a batch or two when you have a bit of time and freeze them.  Then if you have someone drop by for an impromptu coffee or tea, voila, just get a few from the freezer and set them out to thaw while the coffee or tea is being made.

While we visit and enjoy our refreshments, what do you think Mrs. Compson and Sarah will tell us about their relationship?  How has it changed over the course of the book?  What have they each received from their friendship?  Have you ever experienced an intergenerational friendship like they have?  What did you give and receive in that relationship?  Inquiring minds what to know.  Please answer in the comments section below.

By commenting, you are also entering your name in a drawing for Marie Bostwick's latest book, Between Heaven and Texas.  The winner will be announced May 1.  If you are reading via email, don't forget to click through to my blog post to comment and be able to read the comments of others.

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post here.


  1. Our "Woodbadge" Scout leadership training course has a very good session on "Leveredging diversitv", not only among female leadership but what the different generations and cultures have to offer.
    Other than one teacher, I didn't have much in the way of positive exchanges and I don't think I had much to offer him other than my talents of a clean-up person. Interestingly, during yesterday's cub meeting, while the boys played wild and noisy games, I sat with the mothers and offered some suggestions for winning cooperation with their sons. I hope they try some and they work. I had such wonderful relationships with my own children and I wish the same for those parents too. Homework and meals don't need to be a battle-ground.

  2. Mrs. Compson strikes me as being profoundly sad at her core. Sad of so many things that could have been, a life with a husband that was loved and lost, an infant that was eagerly awaited and lost, and relationships with a sister and sister-in-law that were also lost, never to be regained. Sarah brings a spark of life and perhaps a promise of warmth in friendship to the longsuffering broken heart of Mrs. Compson.
    As a volunteer for our local Air National Guard base, in the Family Readiness Program, as a mother of an airman, I'm the oldest in the group. Most all of them are young wives. Sometimes I feel like the "Mom" in the group. Perhaps I lend an image of calm and stability in a mothering type of role that gives the younger volunteers encouragement.

  3. I don't know the answers to the book because I am currently reading her "The Giving Quilt" book. I will read this one too when finished with the current one.

    Yes I have been involved with one generation passing down skills to the next. Mom, sisters, aunts, and friends, all taught me to sew, crochet, needle point, and knitting.

    I was very fortunate to belong to a group of women that made charity quilts along with many other items with our church. Gosh I learned so much from those ladies. All of them have either passed on now or no longer able to work with their hands. The oldest passed away 4 years ago at the young age of 96. She would come in at 96 dancing and singing every Wednesday morning. She ran the sewing machine like the road runner!

  4. It is interesting that they don't really like each other in the beginning, but, become almost like family by the end of the book. It shows us that we can't judge a book by its first impressions, we need to dig a little deeper to see what is really inside it. As for inter-generational relationships, 3 of my closest friends are all nearer my mothers age, than mine (one is much older than my mother). We usually don't pay any attention to our age differences. I learned how to quilt at the same time as the oldest (in a class at my church) and I quilt regularly with the other two. We've all learned life lessons from each other.

  5. I had a rich and rewarding relationship with my hubbys' aunt who stood in my Mom's place when she died suddenly (I was in my 20's). I learned so much from her and we enjoyed each others company. She became my children's grandma, as she never had children of her own. Relationships sometimes start out rocky, but we often end up learning more then we give.

  6. I didn't really hold much hope for these two after the rough beginning when Mrs. Compson was so critical of Sarah. But as I've read further I see she is lonely and knows she doesn't have the strength any more to do all that needs doing in the estate. I have a good friend who is much older than I. It doesn't seem to matter as we have so much in common. She is a wealth of information for me, and I am a good friend to her.

  7. I'm on her 12th book. They're always full of interesting stories. I sometimes wish I lived back then & did things their way. I don't know how I'll be able to wait when I've read her latest book until she writes another one.


  8. It was lovely to see the friendship develop as the story progressed. Both were in need of friends and to learn how to lead a new life. Through mutual respect they listened to each others opinions instead of bring argumentitive or dismissive. The quilting soon put them on a new path that lead them both to new lives that they both craved but wouldn't admit to.


I love hearing from readers. Your comments make my day!