A LABOR OF LOVE – Around The Frame

Florence Bymaster’s crocheted wedding gift bedspread.

Back in the late 1980’s, I met Deb Steeg when I worked for a doctor where she was a patient. It was on Valentine’s Day 1989 that she delivered her beautiful daughter Jamie and ten months later I delivered my son Robert. Flash forward and we became reacquainted as our kids attended Lane Middle School and Snider High School where both were in the Mighty Snider Marching Band and we and our spouses were active band parents. Deb’s husband Kip was a boisterous supporter leading everyone in the “Give us an “S”, Give us an “N” … and occasionally getting ahead of himself and misspelling it to everyone’s good natured laughter. I was deeply saddened by Kip’s sudden passing: Gone too soon at the age of 59.

Deb recently reached out to me to enlist my help in finding new homes for family textile treasures. One of them is a crocheted bedspread passed down to her over three generations by her great-aunt, Florence Cain, the sister of her great-grandmother, Edna Cain. Florence was born on January 2, 1901 in Spencer, Indiana to James S. Cain and Martha Susan Carter where her father was a farmer in Washington, Indiana, the youngest of their eight children.

Florence married Ross Verner Bouher in 1925. In the 1940s Florence was the proprietor of the B&Q Café in Crawfordsville, Indiana. It was named after her husband and her brother-in-law Frank Quisenberry. The couple had no children and Ross died in 1952.

Florence found love again and remarried to Harold Bymaster and they settled into a home at 315 S. Walnut St. Crawfordsville, Indiana. She received this beautiful hand- crocheted bedspread as a wedding gift from a dear friend. Deb was very familiar with all of the love, talent, and hard work that went into making it. Her paternal grandmother, Edythe Cain (Florence’s niece) and maternal grandmother, Alice Brinkman Schrier were both wonderful seamstresses; both could look at an item and make a pattern from scratch. Alice would sew her daughter’s formal dresses for school dances, and Edythe took in sewing from people to earn money. Time marches on and Harold died in 1987. Florence remained in her Walnut St. home where Deb remembered her grandmother Edythe taking her into the guest room to show her the spread and lightly running her hand over the pattern so as not to soil it. Her grandmother explained the pattern to her, but Deb has now forgotten the information. She found it unbelievable that someone would take so much time to make a gift, so she knows how blessed Florence was to have such a wonderful friend.

Since she had no children, Florence gave her wedding bedspread to Edythe when she entered a nursing home in 1995 where she died at age 100 in 2001. Upon Florence’s death the spread was passed to Deb’s mother, Flo Ann (Schrier) Cain. When her mother moved to a smaller home, Deb became its keeper.

Deb’s children are not interested in keeping it in the family as the fourth-generation keepers so I am now entrusted to honor its legacy by doing a labor of love and finding it a new home where it will be continue to be cherished.

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Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer