Saturday, March 12, 2016
Women turn quilts into documents
The signature quilt I mentioned recently has written its own second chapter. After a good 70 years in our family's attic, it seemed ready to go back to those who made it. I've learned from my mother and my sister that when you inherit a handmade artifact that seems to tell a story--research it. So I got in touch with the local historical society in the town of Cyril, Oklahoma, and found what so many American towns have--people who cherish their own history.
Many citizens of this town of 1100 people are children and grandchildren of the women [and one man] who signed and embroidered their names on this quilt some 80 years ago, and now that I have got organized to send the quilt to the Historical Society, they too can enjoy how it opens a window on the past. Their comments can be seen on the CHS Facebook page for March 7.
Cyril Oklahoma and its historic quilt on Facebook
The next time you itch to clean out your attic, don't just give stuff away; find the right home for it. Especially if it has writing on it. Stop and think about how and where a simple object can connect people to each other, and to their own past. All it takes is a little sleuthing.
We will look at those signatures up close in the next post. Signature quilts are a special American tradition.