Throwback Thursday: Finding Quilting Inspiration in My History

I recently visited a cousin and at the same time, I toured the cemetery where my mother’s relatives are buried. I love history, genealogy and old cemeteries, and this one was especially peaceful because of the lovely trees and the quiet that seemed to surround me.

The quilter in me couldn't help noticing and being inspired by the details of the old monuments I found there. One of them had cross hatching at the bottom that reminded me that even simple quilting can be lovely.

I found this unusual spherical monument in the middle of the cemetery, and right next to it was this lovely red marble obelisk. I was struck by how awesome they looked together--round shape and rectangular shape. I often try to do that very same thing in my quilts--using round, curly quilting on quilts filled with sharp rectangles and HSTs and long sharp quilting lines on quilts that contain soft edged shapes.

While visiting my mom's home town, I heard that her family home was slated for demolition and that made me very sad. I remember visiting the home when I was little but I hadn’t been inside for ages. After my Aunt died, the house was sold and turned into an office for a local business. The home was also added to the state historical registry, but I suppose that wasn’t enough to save it after the business closed and the house fell into ruin.

So my sister and I decided that we should stop by and at least take some photos before the home got torn down.

Again, I was struck by the home's lovely architecture. There used to be a gorgeous wrought iron fence surrounding the house, but that was taken down and sold years ago. Despite the home's poor condition, there were still some architectural features left to enjoy like the plaster medallions just below the roofline, and the window cornices.

Although the demolition is not imminent, there's nothing I can do to stop it so I’ll have to content myself with some photographs and a few memories. There's one story I’ll never forget because my mother told it often: during the flood of the Ohio river in 1937 the house was flooded up to the second floor overnight and my mother and her family escaped to a row boat through the upper story window shown here on the left. The non-brick building was added later, so it didn't exist back then but there was a sloping roof as you can see, and she climbed out on that and into the boat.

It was winter when the flood happened, so the water was bitter and conditions after the flood terrible. The beauty for me is that my mother and her family survived, and that their old home has stood for so long as a testament to their perseverance. I hope to bring that ideal to my own quiltmaking--a kind of beauty that stands the test of time.

Tell me, what inspires you and your quiltmaking?

Blog signature.png

I share my blog posts with these awesome linky parties, including the monthly linky Wandering Camera.

you might also like