“The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there.”
– L.P. Hartley
The Augusta Museum of History has a new exhibit on quilting that looks interesting. It even features an 1862 tumbling block quilt donated by my dear friend Keith Claussen.
I have been paying more attention to quilts lately because we found one at my parents’ house that remains a family mystery.
My mother had many quilts created by my grandmother and great aunts decades ago. We knew all of them and their stories. But just before Christmas my sister was in my mother’s back closet looking for a requested decoration and found a new quilt.
Actually, it was an old one – really old – which none of us remembered seeing.
It had been wrapped in plastic, but still smelled musty. It was also, in my opinion, sort of ugly. Its colors are dark, subdued browns that aren’t like our other quilts, which are rich in reds and yellows.
Its borders are frayed and the material seems thin, and the first thought was to pitch it.
But when we looked closer and saw the stitching and needlework, it was so impressive. The amount of time and thought that went into creating this musty, old quilt was difficult to guess. Its pattern of “Texas stars” and a giant hexagram is so remarkable, I couldn’t get over it.
“How did they figure this out?” I asked, and was told there are patterns to follow.
“So why would they choose these colors?” I asked, and was told it might be all they had.
“On a cold night in the dark,” someone said, “it doesn’t matter.”
I took it to the laundry to see if they could clean it up, and was advised it would probably fall apart if they tried.
So we’ll keep it as best as we can, because labor-intensive art is worth keeping.
I’m sure you can see similar examples at the Augusta Museum of History, too. Its quilt exhibit will last three months.
JUDGE COMMENTS: My Monday profile on the late blind judge, Oliver Mixon, brought this response from Audrey Ross in Miami. She wrote: “Judge Oliver Mixon was one of the most influential people in my life, as he married my mother’s sister, Dottie Ouzts Mixon.
“Wofford and I spent every summer with them in Augusta at 1211 Heard Avenue, beginning at age 12, babysitting the Mixons’ two, then three, children and later ‘working’ in my uncle’s law office typing notes that he dictated on law cases.
“Because he had developed and built in his basement the largest (at that time) HAM radio operation in the state of Georgia, W4DJF, he taught me HAM radio and at age 14, I joined in from my own W4ZSN!
“He was, as you said, accomplished and amazing!!! Also, you may not have known, he was a concert-level pianist, an expert swimmer who did beautiful swan dives, a ‘wicked’ Canasta card player and a pretty proficient cook in the kitchen! Additionally, he was one of the best and most widely read individuals I have ever met – all in Braille, from National Geographic to Shakespeare to the Bible! You name it; he was up to date and had read it.”
TODAY’S JOKE: A jet passenger was suffering through a severe thunderstorm. As the aircraft bounced in the turbulence, she turned to the minister beside her and said, “Preacher, don’t you think you could do something about this storm?”
“Sorry, Ma’am,” the pastor said. “I’m in sales, not management.”