Thursday, September 25, 2008

Deine Freunde

As usual during the autumn, our current exhibit features vintage quilts on display throughout the Museum. Since this year's theme is "Quilts Through the Years" we have a little more leeway than in previous years, when our exhibits focused on crazy quilts or log cabin quilts or pink and brown quilts -- so we've been able to display a couple of quilts that haven't been out of their boxes for several years, along with some recent acquisitions.

One of my favorites, which was last on display in 2004, is a wedding quilt from 1897. It belonged to Rose Woodruff Babcock, whose heirs donated the quilt to the Museum along with her wedding dress, wedding shoes, and a photograph of the wedding party. The quilt, currently displayed in Sally's Bedroom, is made of white and sea-green polished cotton in a simple pattern of squares and triangles, tied with lengths of white satin ribbon. What makes it remarkable is the center square, a hand-inked image of a wedding procession entering a church, with the phrase "Deine Freunde" or "Your Friend" inscribed across the bottom. The names of dozens of the couple's friends are written in an elegant, tiny script on the white triangles across the surface of the quilt.

The quilt must have been precious to its owners because it comes to us in pristine condition, slightly faded but with no stains or signs of wear -- a lovely reminder of the community that nurtured the newlywed couple and witnessed the beginning of their life together. Come and see it, along with a dozen other quilts, on display through the end of October.

1 comment:

Virginia Green said...

If we had only taken care of all those family mementos, how rich we would be in treasure.
My own quilt, made by the church ladies for my mother when I was born 83 years ago is on poor condition. How I regret the years it was neglected.