Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Wonderful Tribute

Yesterday, I attended our needlework guild's annual meeting and luncheon. After the meeting, we were treated to a wonderful presentation by Ann Zemke from Crocus Lane Quilts. I was looking forward to an interesting "chat" but had no idea how profound and moving it would be.

Ann's grandmother, Marjorie Peterson, was an orphan train rider. She, like hundreds of thousands of other abandoned and/or orphaned children, was placed on a train hoping that there would be a family at the end of the train ride that would provide a better life. Ann told about the orphan trains and then shared her grandmother's story with us by reading excerpts from her grandmother's writings. She provided us with a glimpse into her grandmother's life with a quilt that she designed and quilted that tells her grandmother's story. I took a few pictures to share with you...

 This is Ann telling us about her grandmother; the quilt she made to tell her grandmother's story is behind her:


Here is a picture of the entire quilt (sorry, it's taken at an angle); you can see her grandmother's picture at the top:

The middle block includes her grandmother's handwriting; Ann enlarged the original and then traced it onto this block. It says "My Autobiography and Life - Marjorie Peterson":


I took a picture of this block because of the embroidery on the pillow case and the crocheted edging. My own grandmother used to crochet edging just like this on her pillowcases!


This is a doily with tatted edging - not only did Marjorie crochet, but she also knew how to tat!


And this block symbolized Marjorie's love of gardening. The blue house dress and pink apron with the chicken scratch around the bottom also reminds me of my aunts who dressed like this and wore chicken scratch embroidered aprons!


Every block of this quilt had a special meaning behind it. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to hear Marjorie's story as told by her granddaughter Ann! Of course while listening to the story, I was thinking about how I could preserve my family's history in my stitching. I thought about the various samplers that other stitchers have completed and personalized with family information. I think we need to do more of that so that our stories and our legacies live on.

 If you'd like more information about Ann and Crocus Lane Quilts, please visit her website: Crocus Lane Quilts. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

13 comments:

Margaret said...

Sounds like a wonderful talk about a wonderful quilt! It would be lovely to make a tribute quilt like that oneself. Very inspiring, I bet!

Ranae said...

Wow! Beautiful quilt. I bet that was fun to hear the story behind it
So interesting!
Thanks for sharing

Laurie in Iowa said...

Sounds like a wonderful program and quilt. I'm glad you got to enjoy it.

Pat said...

A beautiful quilt. I am sure that the talk was very interesting. You were very fortunate to attend.

Faye said...

Oh Cathy!! I wasn't there, but feel like I was! Thank you for the explanations and pictures of this quilt....It sounds like grandma had a hard life as a child. I love seeing her life unfold and told through the quilt squares. She ended up living a good life it appears! I agree with you about preserving our familiy heritages through our stitching.... Again, good job!

Faye

marly said...

What a beautiful tribute to a special life. What sadness those children had to deal with.

Lelia said...

what a beautiful quilt - thanks for sharing in this post!

Krista said...

What a special quilt and interesting idea!

Penny said...

What a fabulous quilt! And an interesting story to go along with it.

Katrina said...

What a fun program!!!! Thanks for sharing :-).

Marie-P said...

Thanks for sharing Cathy! I have never heard of the orphan train and will now need to check that out.

I love quilts like this and agree...we should all do more of this with our hand work.

Siobhán said...

How neat!! Thanks for sharing that.

Maggee said...

One of my favorite movies has been 'How to Make an American Quilt' and there are so many great women in it--who each have a story and it goes into their quilt square. Love it, and enjoyed your post! All your stitching is wonderful! Hugs!