Sunday, March 30, 2008

From tall pine country of northern WI.....

I make my quilt from scraps of flannel. To small to be use for anything else, they come to life in a quilt. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, I make the quilts that covered the beds of The Waltons. A deepening Depression challenges the nation. Scraps pulled from the bag reveal a families' history. Aprons, nightgowns, dresses and shirts...to be used in patchwork perfection. Simple, plain and the medium in which I choose to work. Crossing the prairies of the heartland.....
..I make the quilts of the westward settlers....advancing across the nation like a slow moving tide. Wagon wheel ruts worn as deep as wrinkles forming in the faces. No yardage to speak of, but bits and pieces and parts. A remembrance from a friend, a sister, another woman......a quilter. Daily life challenges me further... a small quilt becomes a burial shroud. A grave by the wagon trail. The sorrow, longing for home. Accepting the possibility of never seeing beloved family faces again....I finger the scraps in my bag, and plan another quilt in my head. Up and into mountain passes, the endless snow of higher elevations, the river
crossings, I form a new connection to family and the frail nature of life. And I piece on a quilt top...wondering "where will I baste this one?", "will I have time to quilt before winter?".....
The lingering while winter passes, an army fort, hating the life, put 'on hold' til spring, longing for a solid roof over my head, a hearth to call my own...I piece this top. A new baby on the way, again. Will I deliver safely? Will it live, grow up and sleep under this quilt I piece? And then spring, moving onward, heading west....the top almost completed...
In the doorway of a newly built log cabin, I stand and gaze across the grasslands, the rolling hills, towards the mountain off in the distance. Snow covered and so beautiful, a new home. New beds to cover with quilts, if I can. How many pieces still in the scrapbag? Time will tell. Will there be woman neighbor with whom to finger the scraps, I hope so. I have many more quilts to make. And since we can't see the future, thanks to God curving the earth so we can't see too far ahead, I do as I have always done. I do the best I can, where I am, with what I have. And that is what my quilts say about me, altho you may not be able to read that message.
I make the quilts of the log cabins, and the quilts of the farmhouse clotheslines. I make quilts from simple patterns, passed from quilter to quilter. I do not yearn for what I do not have. I have no desire for fame nor fortune nor recognition. That is not who am I. Those are not the quilts I choose to make. That will not change. With or without Robert Frost's 'woods'...."I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." *VBS*
*****read Sweet Pea's blog that inspired me to write this about the quilts I make. What quilts do you choose to make?

8 comments:

kjquilts said...

I really enjoyed reading your post this morning. I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and I love your words. Honestly, why aren't you writing books? You have such a great talent!

QuiltedSimple said...

Great post - and beautiful quilts!!
Kris

loulee1 said...

Great post. Lovely pics too, I really like that blue one with the alternate nine patch blocks.

meggie said...

What a lovely post Finn! I could picture the women you were, could feel the questions, the pain, the wondering.
Lovely scrappy quilts.

Norma said...

I choose to make quilts to use when you need comfort, to keep warm and when you need to feel the presence of the quilter. Your post is about "true" quilts, the ones that women made because there was need. There was need to provide blankets for the beds of their loved ones, there was need for beauty and color in their lives and the need to make the most of what little they had.

Your post and the wonderful pictures are my kind of quilts. I enjoyed your writing so much. Maybe we were born way too late, Finn.

Granny Lyn said...

oh, Finn,
you have no idea how deep quilting is in your soul. It sings like poetry, and I'm too selfish to send you a link to a "writing site" because we could no longer benefit from your words. The last posts have all made us dig a little deeper into our quilting souls, and we all have to thank you for shining a light on our feelings.

pure poetry.

Marcie said...

Beautifully said Finn. It really connects us to our heritage-the quilts AND your words! Hugs from me!

Pam said...

My favorite books to get lost in are the diaries of women who traveled the wagon trains...

Thank you~this was beautiful.

Pam@
www.pamgwillim.com