Monday, August 4, 2008

Emma's quilt, blog lesson, Women Writing the West

Here is the photograph of Emma Giesy's quilt that first inspired me to write the Change and Cherish historical series. It was made perhaps as early as 1850 and shows the initials "CG" for her husband or her son, it's not certain which. You can't really see them here, but the cover of the book shows them off well. Few of the Aurora colonists distinguished their work by initials. Emma did.
I saw a photo of her quilt (not this one) in a book by Mary ByWater Cross (Treasures in the Trunk) and the rest is history. My husband took this shot at Aurora, Oregon and off to the left is a small glimpse of Emma's house that still stands on the Aurora Museum grounds. What I love about this shot is that you can see the wreath quilting that Emma did in the red and plaid blocks. She used another kind of quilting pattern for the plaid border. Incidentally, the plaid was of teal and green and the wool was grown in Aurora, dyed there and woven there, too.
We are having a replica made of this quilt and YOU can sign up for a drawing for it. Nothing to purchase, just a great opportunity for a beautiful quilt. Pendleton Woolen Mills, the last Northwest Woolen Mill (and one of only a few family owned mills) has donated the wool for this quilt so it won't be exactly like Emma's, but close.
To sign up for the drawing which is being offered by my publisher, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group a division of Random House, just go to and click on the "contests" page. That's it! The drawing will be sometime early next year after the December 16, 2008 release of my book Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt and Craft that will feature some of the 60 quilts done by the historical women of the Aurora colony, the only successful utopian community in the west. There'll also be photographs of the many other crafts created by the men and women of the colony.
I hope you'll look for the book but also just enjoy this beautiful pieced quilt fluttering in the breeze.
Also, thanks to my friend at Women Writing the West Gayle Gresham, I learned how to post this photograph! My posts should be so much more interesting now and I'm pleased to say I learned something new. Always good. Even old rats when given new mazes to learn grew new brain cells. I've always been encouraged by that. Have a great day, Jane