There was a time when I created quilts by piecing and applique… That was it.!!!
It's a long story, but this is one such quilt that gained a little notoriety. I finished it 8 years ago.
This is my Quilt 1776, heartache, Heritage and Happiness. I re-created it from an 8" photo I found in a book. Its a quilt made by the inlay method of applque and made by soldiers probably around 1776.
My book, of the same name, had a number of quilts taken from the same pattern. I had the help of about 15 people to assist by designing and making their own quilt from the patterns in the book and we feature them all.
One such lady was Jan Munzberg a dear friend of mine.
It just happens that Jan and her Husband David were going to Germany to an area close to the place where the original quilt resided. Bautzen.
Jan decided she should take one of my books to present to the museum and it was a major event getting it to her in the short time I had home in June.
Here's Jan, the book in its fancy gold packaging firmly in her arms outside the station in Bautzen.
I was in the USA and I was getting texts.
"We're on the train on our way to Bautzen"
"We're in Bautzen"
"We're too early the Museum is closed"
So they (Jan and David, but Jan mainly) chatted to everyone about the book.
Finally the Museum was open.
But a young internee came forward, she spoke English and Jan explained the long story and presented her with the book.
I love Jans face…. she was so thrilled to do this for me… (and her as well)
"We'd love to see the quilt" Jan said. "Oh no, that's impossible it's in storage and it's very heavy.
"David is strong" said Jan, not to be put off and offering David's services.
"You look around the Museum, go have coffee and come back" the young attendant said
So they did.
On return to the Museum, this is what they found.
Jan cried, the attendant cried and I cried all over again, just like the first time I saw it.
This quilt has been a major event in my life.
The story is almost unbelievable and I've have had people tell me so.!!!!
What is the story?
Well after being obsessed from my first view of the photo…. it took me 2 years research and preparation and 3 years and 9586 hours to make.
After I finished the quilt… My Mum rang me one day, her voice quavering. She asked me to sit down and then related the story she had just learned. Her Grandfather had come to South Australia on a ship and had lived all his life until then in Bautzen… its my heritage and I didn't know… BUT, when I was in Bautzen, I did mention to Keith (my husband) that I felt like I was at home there…. strange but true.
That's part of the story… it continues… may people have made the quilt just like I did from the pattern in my book. I have met some, but would love to meet others if you know of anyone.
I've met people all over the world who are now going to Bautzen to view the original quilt… so…. I think I have to take my quilt back to Bautzen before it is retired to the Quilt Museum in Nebraska.
Life is sure interesting. There are so many emotions tied to this quilt and it continues.
As for those who told me… "that's not a real quilt because you copied it"
Bah Humbug. I'm stronger now folks…!!!