Thursday, May 27, 2010

pieces of history...

The quilt tells a story...a snapshot of a time that was!  The year was 1995...and our church was celebrating it's 50th anniversary.  We decided a commemorative quilt might be just the thing to remember the occasion by.  I was part of the organizational committee...and we gave packages of fabric scraps to 50 church families...assigning them each to create a square that would have some significance to their family.  Once the squares were all completed...'the quilting ladies' got to work and pieced it all together.  (We have a group of women who meet weekly to quilt.  They provide hundreds of blankets to MCC every year.) It was a wonderful work of art... 

...and hung on a wall in the church sanctuary for some time as a reminder of God's goodness to us as a church family over a period of fifty years.   After a was removed...and I had no idea what might have happened to that quilt.  One day I just happened by the church...and saw the quilt lying on the floor in the corner of a room.  I decided then and there that it was coming home with me for safe-keeping...and so it did!  For several years it has been wrapped and relegated to a storage closet.  I pulled it out the other day...and took a closer look at our little piece of history...and the story it tells. There were 50 squares...and of those families represented...only twenty are still at our church.  We live in a transient society...where no one stays put for any length of seems. 

I so enjoyed looking at the individual squares once more...and the stories they each tell.
A.  Does this look like it was done by a school teacher? 
B. They were dairy farming in our area...and now milk cows in Manitoba.
C. I love this quilt block...completed by a gal who is in the legal profession. 
D. "As for me and my house...we will serve the Lord".  The motto of a family where the sons are now grown and serving the Lord.
E. When they weren't around...we knew John and Molly were in Arizona.
F. He was the church drummer at one time...and moved with his family to Alberta.
G. He was the pastor...she played piano...and they now live in the eastern USA.
H. They grew fresh fruits, vegetables and hedging cedars.
I. This quilt block was completed by Frieda...who loved  flowers and gardens...and is one of our 'quilting ladies'.

Those are just a few stories of the many I could share.  The blanket was made fifteen years ago....the stories remain...though many of the people have moved on.  I pulled it out for a reason.  Our church is now sixty-five years old...and has been an important part of our lives.  Both my husband and I have called it our church home for most of our lives.  It is where we were baptized and married...and where are children were baptized.  It's where we learned to choirs and groups...and where we formed rich friendships that have stood the test of time.  We found love and comfort through the church family when we went through difficult times.  Our church has meant much to us over the years...and so I thought a sixty-fifth anniversary was a good excuse to remember...and be thankful!

Oh...and if anyone is wondering what ever happened to the anniversary you know.  I'm quite willing to share it though. 


  1. Lovely quilt and lovely story. I am glad you are taking care of it for now and that it will be on show again...maybe some more stories could be added?

  2. Gosh Judy, what a responsibility to keep such a lovely bit of history safe and sound. My own family quilts were stored in a closet, and a quilter who has had her quilts shown was quick to inform me of the correct way to wash and store the things. I need to sew up muslim bags to store them in apparently!

    May I suggest that a professional photo be taken of the quilt and a guide book written up using one of the on-line photo book programs, so each square could be pictured and have it's background story told for future generations? Forgive me for butting in on this...I would just hate for the day to come when no one remains on earth to explain the squares to the future generation of church members. Two copies of the book would be very for your own church library and another for the Mennonite historical center.

  3. What a beautiful story, Judy. I tried to figure out which square was made by your family.....
    Sixty-five years for your church - what a lovely thought. You and your family are truly blessed to have been part of that church family!
    I'd think that Jill's idea of an online book would make a great fundraiser!
    PS you'll NEVER believe this - the verification word is 'wantthrow'.

  4. Love it Judy! I'm so glad you rescued it. It really is cool. What a blessing to be part of a church body for so long...

  5. What a beautiful quilt, and what wonderful memories. I like the idea of a memory book - our town has a similar quilt with a memory book, so that future generations will always be able to read the stories behind the blocks. Our neighbor is one of your pastoral team - I'm going to forward this to her. It's a real shame to have something this fabulous hidden away in a storage closet!

  6. What a great story of precious memories!

  7. Oh my word that is so beautiful. What a testament to the talented women who worked on it.

  8. The wonderful thing about staying in a church for as long as you have... you know everyone... you remember . .. you make the connections. The quilt is in the right place.
    (my verification word is houseled)

  9. I envy people who have grown up in one area and put down roots in a church. Finding a new church is a hard thing, as we're finding out. It's like finding a new family, and who wants to do that?

    Good for you for rescuing the quilt. It's a treasure to be preserved, full of memories and reminders of God's faithfulness.

  10. Just recently one of my poetry meetings was closed down due to the lack of people attending. I remember looking at the walls (for they were covered with things that people had written over the 15 years that it was there) BTW it was poster board that these things were written on. It was a piece of my history, and the librarian that ran the meeting said that she hopes that one day it will go into the local historic society. So maybe that's something you should try and do with the quilt? :-D

  11. That is such a beautiful quilt and idea!!! I love it! My mother quilts, and she actually made me a small quilt out of some of my baby clothes. Another way that art and history keep you warm!

  12. What a legacy for your church plus all the stories that go with the quilt. If the church had a pulpit, we could drape it over it, as a reminder that there still is a God present in today's world.
    What a wonderful reminder of God's faithfulness. It needs a special trophy case.

  13. What a wonderful way with words you have Judy...and quilts...well, I love the stories that quilts tell...they tend to tell the truth.

  14. What a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing the story that goes along with such a work of art....labor of love. A treasured keepsake. Kathy

  15. Good for you! Your church family can rest easy that it is in good hands. Having people leave the church is one of my earliest and saddest memories. That's the part about church family that I don't like. Guess transiency is true of every family, church or not, though.

  16. I so ejoyed the story and your sentiments in guarding something that has historical value.
    I smile at Jill. . .you just know the librarian would love to get her hands on this. . .she's so gifted in the area of documentation.

  17. What a lovely story! I am so glad that you found the quilt and have been able to keep it safe. I love the suggestions made about making a memory book about the quilt and selling it as a fundraiser. My mother is on her Church Historical Society and they recently put together a memory book. They did quite well with their fundraising efforts.


  18. The time, thought and talent that went into this quilt are amazing. I am thankful that you rescued it when you found it. You had lots of creativty in your church. Thanks for all the stories you shared with the quilt pieces.

  19. What a great story! We were in the same church for 25 years and you are right, it was our family. We were deeply rooted there. We left about 6 years ago.We are in a different church now, but it will never be the same as it was there.Oh, and I am so glad you rescued the quilt!

  20. quilts are full of amazing stories!

  21. It is a beautiful quilt, Judy. Which square was yours? Happy 65 anniversary to MCC!


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson