This is just what happened when we received an email from Harry A., who visited recently from Maryland. He and his girlfriend Patty were at Harry’s daughter’s home in north-central Massachusetts. They were looking for something to do with Harry’s granddaughter Eileen and, because Harry knows that Eileen likes crafts, he suggested that they go to the New England Quilt Museum. He said he likes that sort of thing too and told Eileen that they could go to the “Smurfs” movie after the museum. “Well,” said Harry in a telephone interview, “we never got to the ‘Smurfs’!” It seems that after Eileen saw the quilts in "The Crit Group" and the “Water is Life” exhibits, she wanted to sew for hours and just wouldn’t stop! Read Harry’s account below as he reported it to us in an email:
Just so you know, your efforts have indeed Educated and Inspired.
Once my granddaughter saw the quilts on display (she liked the sister bathers and the African duality tree) she just had to buy a bag of scraps. Then she hounded everyone to trust her at her grandmother’s sewing machine. Within the hour of our return from Lowell, it was on a table with Eileen at the helm and Patty at her side. My girlfriend, who is very loving, a great quilter and very, very patient, sat with Eileen, who NEVER GOT TIRED. The attached pictures say it all - at least several thousand fun and wonderful words. We all thank you for inspiring a natural quilter - none of us had a clue that this was in Eileen - who knew!? Patty and Eileen worked up a small rooster (they had seen the chicken pincushions for sale in the museum’s gift shop), a huge rooster, then a crazy quilt, and THEN a mouse needle cushion. The whir of the sewing machine was heard for the two days before Grand Pop and Patty had to leave for home.
P.S. I remember my grandmother teaching me how to quilt on a treadle machine - a story I NEVER SHARED with anyone until I voiced my interest in the displayed quilts and Eileen drew forward these forgotten stories of quilting.
NOW SHE HAS HER OWN.”
You can see from the photos that Harry sent that Eileen displays great concentration as well as joy and enthusiasm for her new venture. She is also showing that spirit of creativity that so many quilters display: Harry wanted to make sure that we noticed the scarf that the large rooster is wearing! With all the chicken and rooster pincushions I have seen, I’ve never seen one wearing a scarf! You go, Eileen! Have fun, keep creating, and keep writing your own quilting stories!
Written by Dottie Macomber, Museum Library volunteer