We celebrated by having pizza last Friday. The Hawaiian quilt is finished! We just began work on a lovely new quilt that contains colors of spring. The pale but vibrant greens and the lilac prints are so much easier to sew on then the other quilt. There have also been a few younger women who dropped by, learning the basics of hand quilting. Their energy and ideas are a welcomed addition. It is a good exchange as they learn the sewing techniques and listen to advice offered by the older women. We listen to them describe their children’s activities, their own struggles to find a place in the community.
Its an excellent reminder of the interconnectedness of generations. I suspect it might be harder to experience this in urban areas, although I could be wrong. But here in a town with just over a thousand inhabitants, paths cross frequently regardless of age. Some of the quilters also help with Friends of the Library. Katie, a young mother who volunteers with that library group, stops by with her children to pick up a key from Joan. Her children come in close to look at the quilt, to watch the sewing. Bev shares photos and stories of her new grandchildren with us. Mary Louise is catching a ride later in the day to watch her great-grandson, a high school student, wrestle. Jan, a fairly new person in our community stops by around noon. We offer her pizza and she asks about the history of the valley, filling in gaps left by her reading.
There is value in having cross-pollination of generations. Everyone benefits. Young people gain a sense of history as well as the perspective offered by a long life. The elders luxuriate in hearing tales of young ones today, their trials and their joys. There are exchanges about technology and travel, cooking and gardens. Everyone has something to offer. Everyone has something to gain. Although we accomplished a lot this winter, we appreciate the arrival of spring.
It is March and yes, the Hawaiian fabric quilt is so close to being finished that we can taste it. When that quilt was rolled in so much it was hard to get more than a few women sewing on it, we set up another one that Cathryn pieced and some of the women worked on that getting it tied. It is lovely with just enough different fabrics to make it interesting and yet those vintage squares are bordered with white so it gives one a sense of light. We just about got that finished when Sally brought in squares for a quilt she is piecing. She wanted our opinions (brave woman!) and to lay it out. So we put a sheet on top of Cathryn’s quilt and began to play with the squares. Lots of laughter and pointing and rearranging and total agreement that it was going to be a beautiful one when finished. I am sure Sally’s skills as an artist help her select colors and fabrics pleasing to every eye.
So here we are in March and moving right along with the quilts. The weather still prevents a few of our regular quilters from joining us. Just too much snow and ice out in the parking lot and on the trail to the old school house. But the snow is slowly turning to mud and the sun coming through the school house windows reassures us spring is on the way. That helps but then with thoughts of spring come thoughts of summer and what that means. One of the old buildings here needs to be re-roofed. The grounds at the Historical Village need to be maintained which requires hiring someone. Lynda starts making lists of all that needs to happen before the summer season starts. Each item requires volunteer efforts or hiring professionals. Our Christmas bazaar went well and we will have another sale over Rendezvous weekend (April 28-29) and then one in May. It requires selling quite a number of used books and lovely handmade potholders to pay for a roof or to have the restrooms serviced. Perhaps one of these lovely quilts will sell.
There are days when it is hard to put this in perspective. Politicians, billionaires, and Congress talking about millions there and more millions over there. Here in the Tobacco Valley I think of families who struggle to pay utility bills, individuals who don’t have gas money to drive to the doctor’s, men sitting home out of work. The Historical Village is in a county that certainly has its share of hardships. But there are these women making quilts to sell, piecing lovely fabric, making lists for summer chores.