SILVERHILL, Alabama — By their own admission, Pam and Angie Madden are more than just sisters.
“We’re sisters, sisters-in-law and best friends,” said Pam.
Lifelong residents of Silverhill, the two were born Pam and Angie James before marrying brothers, and they still live on Madden Lane, not far from where they grew up.
“I have friends who can’t believe I’ve never lived north of I-10,” Angie said. “But this is where I grew up and to me there’s no better place on Earth.”
While they did not get around to giving their specific ages, Angie is older than Pam by about a year, they said.
“We weren’t always that close,” said Pam. “We have another sister, Cindy, who is a year older than Angie. I was always closer to her because she was into more physical activities, while Angie was more into reading and things like that.”
As they got older, however, it was various crafting projects that brought them together.
“We started out making porcelain dolls, then other sewing projects,” said Pam. “Whatever (Angie) got into, she would get me involved too. It was just something we could all do together as a family.”
While quilting is a Southern tradition oftentimes handed down through generations, it was something the sisters kind of grew into.
“Quilting wasn’t really popular when we were growing up,” said Angie. “It wasn’t until the U.S. Bicentennial that quilting had a resurgence.”
So, Angie got into quilting, and naturally got Pam involved.
“I didn’t really know anybody in our family quilted before we started,” said Pam. “I have a quilt that belonged to our grandmother that I didn’t know until much later that she actually made it.”
The sisters meet every Tuesday at Pam’s house to work on various projects. They’ve even gotten other family members involved, such as their older sisters, including Cindy, and have even passed the quilting bug onto the next generation, Angie’s daughter, Melissa.
“I used to skip school occasionally to join them,” Melissa admits. “Now I’m here pretty much every week.”
Through the years, Angie says she has made over 200 quilts, while Pam has probably made close to that, mostly for family and friends, but for other projects as well.
“We’ve made quilts that were raffled off as fundraisers,” said Pam, “and we’ve made several military quilts (for the Quilts of Valor program).”
Pam is more of a traditional quilter, they said, while Angie likes to explore with different fabrics and patterns.
While they weren’t involved from the beginning, the two sisters have always been aware of the Robertsdale United Methodist Women’s biannual quilt show at the Robertsdale United Methodist Church.
Several years ago, Pam said, she got involved with the Stitch-n-Friends sewing group.
“They do a lot with the quilt show, so I started helping out through them,” she said. “And for once, instead of me following Angie into something, I got her involved.”
After being involved with the show for several years, Angie was asked to be the honored quilter for this year’s show, which will be held Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the church on Alabama 59 in Robertsdale.
“I said I would be honored to do that, but not without Pam,” said Angie. “We’re a package deal. Where I go, she goes.”
So, for what might be the first time, the show will feature two honored quilters.
“I’m almost positive this is the first time they’ve featured sisters,” said Pam. “It’s a tremendous honor.”
The biannual show will feature more than 300 handmade quilts creatively displayed with antiques and collectibles. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day with a $5 admission. Lunch, which will consist of soup, salad and dessert, will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at a cost of $7 per plate with musical entertainment featured daily during lunch.
Vendors will be on hand with lots of quilting supplies including patterns, kits, machines, fabrics, needles and notions. Scissor sharpening will also be available.
For more information contact Betty Gwaltney, 251-947-5354, Nancy Blackmon, 251-213-4116, call the church office at 251-947-4602, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit robertsdaleumc.com or the Robertsdale UMW Quilt Show page on Facebook.