Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Airing the Quilts -Part 1


What is it? Is it a carnival or something? Can we stop? In the side yard of a small green house overlooking the road, bright colors of every description flapped and danced in the wind. Pa slowed the truck and Rosemary realized, with some disappointment, that it was just a bunch of quilts, hanging from clotheslines stretched between big trees. A slender woman in a blue housedress was adding yet another dazzling rectangle to the last empty space. Pink stars spun on a green background as the breeze lifted the quilt. The woman stepped back as if to admire the spectacle then, catching sight of their truck, she raised her hand in a friendly wave.
These are pictures from maybe fifteen or twenty years ago -- pre digital, for sure. I was on my way to the grocery store when the bright colors slowed me down. Back then, I didn't carry a camera all the time so, when I got to the grocery store, I bought a disposable camera.

On my return trip I stopped and asked the lady of the house if I could take pictures of her quilts. She was surprised but  agreed and showed me the different ones. This below was what she called her 'pattern quilt' -- examples of the various squares she had made, all fitted together in a glorious jumble.

The quilter and her quilts are long gone -- someone  else lives in the little stone house now.  But she's commemorated in the above excerpt (the house was changed to green to tie it to a chapter in ART'S BLOOD) -- and the stone house became Nola Barrett's house in IN A DARK SEASON. A memorable stop that day.

And speaking of memorable, I just remembered where the rest of the pictures are -- the much better ones that show the quilter and all of her quilts -- in a dusty scrapbook on the top shelf of my workroom.  It's late now -- I'll post them on Saturday.

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Brian Miller said... quilts and have some good memories under the ones at my moms house...

Ann Abernathy said...

My grandmother made quilts, not so much for artistry's sake (although they were lovely) but for warming her family. There was no central heating in the mountain homes so we slept under stacks of quilts. I learned how to quilt from her, as well as from my mom and Aunt Lindy.
I love your books. All my family roots are in the Appalachians of Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia, and the language and culture you use in the books really resonates with me. I see so much of what flatlanders think the hill folk are like, that it is a privilege to read someone who "gets it right".

Martin H. said...

What beautiful work, Vicki. Now that really was a moment, well snapped.

Kristen Haskell said...

I love how you weave so much from your own life into your fiction. I must try to do that more. Your pictures are wonderful.


Looking forward to the quilter and her quilts on Saturday. Love the pattern quilt in this post. -- barbara

maría cecilia said...

I can imagine any of the many bloggers I know who make beautiful quilts hanging them out to the winds... I think you did so well to ask the lady to take some pics, she did a great work!!!

Kath said...

WE have something called The Quilt Trail here in KY. Patches painted on old barns along roads. Which like your photos remind me of the fascinating quilts I inherited. The least beautiful of which is the most fascinating. It is clearly made of all kinds of clothing bits. It's backed with warm wool. There's a story there.

Deanna said...

Am looking forward to seeing the rest of the quilt pictures.

Vicki Lane said...

There's something about old quilts -- especially the ones that were made for use and not art -- that I find irresistible.

Kirsten -- I knew there had to be a reason we came to this life!

Barbara -- because of Blogger being down, I'll do my second part of this post on Sunday.

Yes, she did, Maria Cecilia -- very much the same thing that we bloggers do -- hang out our work for all to see.

Kath, our county and others nearby have the Quilt trails. None of our barns are visible from the road but I still hope to do a barn quilt one day.

Sunday, Deanna!