1902 – 1988
A life-long resident of Prescott, Emma Andres was born in 1902. She worked in her family’s store on Prescott’s main street and discovered quilting in 1931 after ordering a kit through a magazine. This began a life-long love of quilting and extensive correspondence that spanned the globe.
All of Emma’s quilts are completely hand-made, including piecing, applique and quilting. Her red and white quilt depicting a woman at a spinning wheel received a merit award in the 1933 Sears, Roebuck & Company’s “Century of Progress” quilt contest. In 1940 her quilts “Out Where the West Begins” and “Arizona State Flag,” both original designs, won blue ribbons. She followed that with a win in 1941 with “The Tillman Quilt” depicting a bouquet of flowers.
Emma conducted a vigorous correspondence with well-known quilters of her time, compiling all that information into scrapbooks. Those scrapbooks, many of which now reside in museums, are still consulted by researchers.
Beginning in 1941, Emma organized annual quilt events held in different locations around Prescott. She showed her own quilts, those she purchased, and others on loan from her quilting friends from around the country. In her later years, she turned the family store into a “Happiness Museum” where she displayed her quilts and educated visitors about quiltmaking. As she neared the end of her life, her quilts moved to the Sharlot Hall Museum where she could be found discussing quilting with anyone willing to listen.
In 1984, Emma was presented with the first, and only, Arizona Quilt Artisan Award.
In remarks accepting Emma’s recognition, it was said that certain cultures believe each person dies three times. The first time is when the spirit leave the body, the second is at the funeral, and the third is when people stop talking about the departed. Given this recognition, coming 21 years after her passing, Emma Andres is still alive in the hearts and minds of Arizona quilters.