The idea came for this in 1999, when I began to research some of my family history, and long-lost relatives. I wondered how I might tell their stories in an interesting way. Actually nobody wants to hear about someone else’s great- great- greats. But, with a visual assist, their stories can tell about experiences that speak about other women of their time, including your own grandmothers.
All the blocks are sewn in place now, with a wonderful blue cotton that sets them off. Each block is 10 inches square; the borders are about 2 inches wide and the strips in between are around 1 1/2 inches. The next step toward completion is the quilting – a piece of cotton batting in the middle, and a patchwork back are both stitched to the front with, in this case, hand-stitching. Slow, but worth it for the authenticity and the storytelling!
At the last minute, I removed the “Water Wheel” block (see here), and made another of my own design that I call The Garden. It is 2nd from the left on the bottom row. I feel like gardens are quite important in women’s lives, in the past, as well as now. My few flowers in my dooryard are necessary to my emotional and spiritual well-being. For women in the past, the garden held food, medicines, and flavorings, as well as flowers. Blocks that were pieced but not used in the quilt have been made into single, bound quilted pieces, sort of like very large potholders. I will use these in my presentations/display for viewers to actually handle – if there is a “hands-off” item, it is good to provide something that is hands-on!”