Saturday, March 13, 2010
Happy Birthday, Birmingham Thistle
My little quilt was inspired by this one:
This quilt was made by Dorothy Williams in Birmingham, Michigan, circa 1910--so I'm celebrating it's birthday!
A couple decades ago I taught at Chee Dodge Elementary north of Gallup with Tammy Somers Ashley, Dorothy's granddaughter. For a year or two we car pooled to Chee Dodge. One afternoon I was at Tammy's apartment and saw this quilt on the back of her sofa with a cat lounging on top of it. I admired the quilt, and we looked at it more closely, and Tammy told me what she knew of its history.
I attempted to encourage Tammy to care for it gently. I thought it was such a treasure and that she was very lucky to have such a legacy from her grandmother.
That Christmas, in honor of her quilt, I made Tammy some sofa pillows from the same pattern. At the same time I presented her with the pillows, she presented me with the quilt. We laughed about the similarities to O. Henry's short story "The Gift of the Magi."
I've cared for this quilt quite gently--but nevertheless, some of the patches are disintegrating--and I think the yellow that used to be green is even more faded than it was, despite the fact that this quilt is almost always inside a dark closet.
Here's another shot of the small quilt I made in honor of Dorothy's larger one:
I'm thinking I may need to challenge myself to make another quilt like this. I had penned favorite quotations all over the front and back of this quilt with a violet Pigma pen, but despite the fact that this quilt has never had prolonged exposure to sunlight and has probably been laundered only a few times, the inscriptions are becoming nearly impossible to read too.
Yep, might have to find time to make another.