Early spring of each year is when the flat storage gets unpacked, unfolded, checked to make sure there are no condition changes, and repacked in new acid free materials. Its exhausting! I don't have many quilts, but I do have a hand full and this year the Mary Lower Quaker quilt is out to air for a little while. All her 10'x10' glory is carefully folded and hung up on my wall~ I love this quilt!
Some like this block, have little inked pictorial drawings on them~ like one would see in a book form friendship album of the time
"As my name is now surrounded by the names of many friends, so may our spirits meet in Heaven. Mary M Lower Norristown 1846"
This is the latest block and probably the last one she pieced before setting them all together.
A quilt such as this holds a record of her friends and family, and places she visited within a brief window of a few precious years in the early 1840s. There are memorial blocks for her grandparents, deceased siblings and relatives, as well as blocks from friends. I have to wonder if she knew, when making it, it would serve as such an important family genealogical record. I think she did, and for those of you who quilt, I hope you will always sign and date your work permanently~ either on the front as part of its design, or on the back in a stitched on label. Sometimes its hard to realize that some thing that we make will outlast us for so many generations ~ but they do! Memories fade....papers get lost....but if your words are scrolled from your own hand, onto your stitching itself, one can rest peacefully that the work of thy hand will never be forgotten or become anonymous