A Quilter Remembered

Mary Louise Humber ~ February 4, 1926 – March 6, 2021

Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Humber, 95, died Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Carlsbad, California. Mary Lou was born in Sacramento, California, on February 4, 1926, the only child of Richard A. and Genelle E. Stam. Mary Lou was raised on a turkey ranch in Elk Grove and graduated from Elk Grove High School in May 1943. She attended several semesters at the University of California, Berkeley, where she met her future husband, Harold “Hal” Humber, in the Methodist Cooperative. Hal and Mary Lou were married on July 12, 1947, in San Francisco, after Hal returned from serving his country as a radioman-waist gunner on a B-24J Liberator in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater. Hal passed in 2012, just nine days short of their 65th wedding anniversary.

Hal and Mary Lou raised 2 sons, Stephen Vaughan and Kent Alan Humber, in a quintessential Norman Rockwell household in South San Francisco. The Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts of America played a big role in the family, with both Hal and Mary Lou serving as leaders in the Scouting Program in the San Mateo County Council, and both of their boys earning the rank of Eagle Scout.

Also paramount in their lives were the times spent with Hal’s three older brothers, Herbert, Merrill, and Vernon, and their families, who all lived in the Bay Area. In addition to serving as a den mother, and an instructor who trained volunteer leaders in the scouting program, Mary Lou worked countless hours supporting Hal’s role as a Cubmaster, Scoutmaster, and Explorer Advisor in addition to working at the San Mateo County Office for the Boy Scouts of America.

She was also an accomplished quilter and artist, working with oils and acrylics, but her true passion was painting with water colors. In 1973, with their two sons off at college, Hal and Mary Lou moved their business and home to Hathaway Pines in the heart of the California Gold Rush country in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They opened “Stained Glass, etc.” a stained glass and gift shop. The shop showcased Hal’s stained and leaded glass work, Mary Lou’s water colors and works from local artists in the Mother Lode Country.

While in their beloved mountains, Mary Lou was a founding member of the Independence Hall Quilters and taught quilting to members of the community, as well as in the local Junior College, in Sonora, California. She helped design and orchestrate the creation of the Calaveras County Bicentennial Quilt and contributed the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County applique for the California Sesquicentennial Quilt. Hal and Mary Lou remained in Calaveras County until 2008, when they retired and moved to Carlsbad in southern California to be close to their younger son and his family.

While living at La Costa Glen, Hal and Mary Lou were very active in writing letters and sending packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through the La Costa Glen based charity, “Care Packages From Home.” Hal and Mary Lou loved receiving letters from the men and women of our military and promptly answered each and every letter with heartfelt messages of thanks for their sacrifice and service to the country they both loved.

Mary Lou touched many hearts and lives during her 95 years, and will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. She was the mother, grandmother, and friend that everyone should be so lucky to have. Mary Lou is survived by her son, Steven Vaughan Humber, and his two children, Brian Vaughan Tadashi Humber (Blair), Brittany Mariko Boman (Zack), and three great-grandchildren, Holland Mae Boman, Hinkley Jan Boman, and Benson Darrell Boman. Also surviving is her younger son, Kent Alan Humber (Candace), and their three children, Conor Alan Humber, Carolyn Christine Humber, and Christian Kent Humber.

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Did you know?

March is National Quilters Month

Quilters also have a National Quilter’s Day, on March 20, 2021.  

Anyone have any ideas about ways to celebrate this?  Please email suggestions to: Guild@ihquilters.com

Thank You & Happy Quilting!

Related holidays to put on your calendar:
National Sewing Machine Day (June 13) – Celebrates the day the sewing machine was patented.
National Thread the Needle Day (July 25) – This holiday is also about metaphorically threading the needle –                   walking a fine line between two issues.
National Sewing Month (September) – Proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982 “in recognition of the                    importance of home sewing to our Nation.”

A Quilter’s Plan B

Five and a half feet of snow from a blizzard dumped on Arnold the first week of February. The whole town was dealing with downed trees and power lines. Roads were blocked off or closed, the snowplow could not get through.  Aside from being very annoying, communications were all down (phone, cell & internet).  We were cut off from the world.  For over a week.

What do quilters do when they can’t use their sewing machines?  We do prep & handwork.  Like binding the edges of finished quilts.  Like cutting fabric for the next quilt or project.  Organizing our “stashes”, designing our own stars, blocks, or layouts. Taking care of U.F.O.’s. (Unfinished Objects).  I happily found 5.5″ flannel squares in my flannels bin that will make a cute toddler’s comfort quilt, left-over 2.5″ squares that could be a cute patchwork spring quilt.  I start way more projects than I accomplish, it seems.

I promised myself to finish the binding on “The Beast” before piecing little quilts.  The Beast?  A King-sized T-shirt quilt I made for my husband out of his old Harley Davidson shirts.  I stupidly decided on a fleece backing (I put them on kid’s quilts all the time).  The Beast weighs a little over 8 pounds.  Not only will it keep us warm in the winter, but it will also keep us on our own side!

Arnold has power and internet back this week, so tomorrow’s class will be in session, even if it snows as predicted.

♥  TTFN  ♥

IHQ Going Global

Our 2019 Scholarship Quilt, “Heritage”, designed by Lynn Wilder, and pieced by members of the Independence Hall Quilters, is going to be featured in QuiltMania magazine in the Jan/Feb edition.   QuiltMania is a very “high end” quilt magazine printed in French, Dutch, and English, and is distributed worldwide. 

Lynn was able to borrow the quilt from the raffle winner, who happily lives locally.  She had to ship the quilt to France, so the magazine could do a photoshoot.  You can imagine how excited Lynn is about it all –  “I can’t wait to see what they do with it!”
Our entire guild is excited along with her. Many of us made blocks (under Lynn’s direction) for Heritage, so we have a part in the history of this beautiful creation. Yours truly made two of the intricate 56-piece blocks. That’s right, fifty-six little pieces – one block.
QuiltMania’s editor saw a photo of our Scholarship quilt on Lynn’s Etsy site and contacted her.  They wanted to feature the quilt and tell about our guild.  Lynn is putting together information about our guild and the quilt, at the magazine’s request.  Also, the guild will get compensation for featuring our quilt – great news for the scholarship fund!