Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quilts in the Gardens

Within our sitting room a table stood,
Made by my father out of cherry wood,
On which thru summer day and winter night
A basket rested full of patches bright;
And from those scraps of variegated shades
My mother planned the many quilts she made,
From muslin and cretonne by some deft spell
Forming the flowers she loved so well;
The crimson tulip and the wild rose, too,
Were fashioned, each in its own shape and hue;
The drooping lily bent its modest head,
The pink carnations' perfume seemed to shed.

Mom and I enjoyed the Halton Quilters' Guild biennial show held at the Royal Botanical Gardens. One of my favourite quilts in the show was the lovely "In Full Bloom" created by Lisa Caron in honour of her parents 50th wedding anniversary. Pictured here is but one panel of a joyful creation.

In addition to the new creations, collector Gerald Fagan exhibited a dozen or so antique quilts including one from Atwood, Ontario, and created in 1895. I thought the quotation suited both flowers and quilts: "which maketh joy abound and comforteth the weary."

Oft from the brass-bound chest her quilts I take,
And from their folds the scented herb leaves shake;
Then on her own great, square four-post bed
The cunning labor of her hands I spread;
With lingering caress I softly touch
The beauty, oddly quaint, she prized so much,
While memory brings back the homely room
Where those bright blocks of flowers flamed in bloom.

Now for long years her patient toil is o'er;
Her quilt hands create her dreams no more;
Beneath a quilt of pinks and lilies too--
The prototypes from which her patterns grew--
She rests in peace. There, while she calmly sleeps, God's mystic coverlet above her creeps.

This be my faith: That some day I shall see
Life's complex pattern growing plain to me;
That somewhere I shall clearly understand
The great design worked by the Master's hand;
And that somehow love's thread may reunite
Our broken lives into a fabric bright,
And in celestial arabesques restore
The ties that bind us here on earth no more.
"My Mother's Quilts" by Carrie O'Neal preserved in The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt in America (1935)

1 comment:

Bernd said...

... only quilts pass on the warmth of the makers hand ...