This is my Quilt, 1776, Heartache, Heritage and Happiness. I made it some time ago and it is a re-production of a quilt made originally in 1776 in Germany.
The quilt went on to win BOS in Houston and was a personal journey for me.
I wrote a journal as I embarked on this task and it’s a substantial book describing the hights and lows, techniques and patterns it’s become quite popular as a coffee table book.
Friends Jan and David Munzberg were staunch supporters of the project and in fact Jan made a small sample for the book using the patterns found in the original quilt.
A few weeks ago they said they had decided to visit Bautzen the town where the original quilt was kept. Jan said, “would you like us to take a book to the Museum for you”?
They made time in their busy schedule to come up home and pick up a book to take with them….
Three days ago they sent a series of messages….
Tomorrow……. BAUTZEN!!! We are very excited. Will set out early in morning from Dresden where we are for 3 days. Will spend all day and plan to deliver book. Have shown it to friends along the way and have also read parts of it again myself. It is so touching and sooo well done. I feel proud to be your friend. David and I will deliver book with pride. Stay tuned.
Xx jan and David sends love too.”
On the way…..
“Bright sunny day and we will Be in Bautzen in 40 min
Xx J andD”
A hour later……
“We are and we are in love with Bautzen. Gorgeous day, only out second since leaving home Have to wait for an hour for Stadt museum to open. Xx
“It is 9.34 and we have coffee while we see the town getting ready for the day. David spoke to man at library about his Wendish forebearers We see him after 12 noon. Will be at museum when it opens at 10.
David said,’this is going to be a good day!’Xx j”
So you can imagine, my mind was wandering a little as I was teaching…
Then I didn’t hear from them for two days …. I was getting a little worried that things had gone wrong
We made the pilgrimage to Bautzen. We took the train from Dresden with gold envelope in hand. Arrived at 8.30am and waited for the museum to open. On entry we were told the quilt was not there because it was on exhibition somewhere else. We were having language problems and asked to speak to someone with English. A young woman, a grad in art restoration who was filling in for someone on leave, understood our mission. She said the quilt was in the building but stored and that it would take several strong people to get it out of storage. Jan offered my services. We then presented your book at which time the non English speaking receptionist pulled out from under the counter a substantial book about the history of quilts in this area written in English & German. I looked at the extensive bibliography and sure enough there was your book listed. We bought a copy and immediately posted it home.
As we worked our way through the museum which is just excellent since its restoration, the young woman approached us and announced that the quilt was ready for us to look at! She had it brought out of storage and unrolled on the floor. We were very happy. We loved Bautzen and especially this experience.
David in Berlin“
“Oh Pam…. We experienced all of the above during our day in Bautzen. The heartache was when we thought we would not get to see the quilt. We must have looked very sad and also we were very fortunate to have struck Martina who was very brave and very persistent. She was a gift to us. The director of the museum was not in so the presentation was to Martina who assured is that it would be placed in the museum library and that she would read it. In the end I think she was as involved in the project as we were.
The happiness was being in the presence of the quilt that has meant so much to you. I felt very emotional. I had a magnifying glass in my bum bag so both Martina and I studied the quilt. It appears that the pieces were not appliquéd on top but that the space where they were placed was cut out. Perhaps u covered that in your book but now I do not have the book. I feel as if I have left a friend behind. I showed it to so many people along the way… Both friends and strangers.
And the heritage came from touring the exceptional museum telling the fascinating history of the town. Complete with labels in English.
Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity. This day in Bautzen will live in both of our memories forever. Thank you my friend.
My heart took a little leap last night when I read this. It was a very long day yesterday and I was physically and mentally beat…. but now I have time to reflect and I thank Jan and David for being a part of the legacy and experience that continues long after the quilt has been finished.