Monday, September 22, 2008
Ties that bind.....
While reading Lucy's blog, a Dutch quilter, I found out there was a quilt show up in Friesland. I was happy to find out that I was just in time to still be able to visit it. This quilt show was small but very special for two reasons ~ it is about a very couragous and special woman who worked during WWII to refugees and it gave me ties that bind me back to my home in Ohio.
The quilt show was in a tiny church in the village of Witmarsum. It is the birthplace of Menno Simons who is the founding father of the Mennonite faith. These were the ties that bind back to Ohio where there is a large Mennonite community. It is seeing quilts in Amish country as a girl that got me started as a quilter.
This is the story of An and Lynn. It is story of Lynn discovering some old American quilts in the Dutch countryside and then discovering an amazing story behind those quilts. You can find the English version of this book here. I can recommend it for anyone interested in quilting or in stories connected to WWII.
The quilts were sent to An during the war to help keep refugees warm through the Mennonites back in the US.
The show was nicely presented with historic information hanging throughout the quilt racks.
It spoke of the sewing circles working to make these quilts and this photo is of a group of girls working on quilts in Lima, Ohio. Don't forget, you can click on the photos to enlarge them.
It is a very precious thing that these quilts have survived the years for us to see and connect to the stories of people searching for freedom from the violence of war.
If you visit Ohio Amish country, you can hear the story of how the Amish and Mennonites came to America. There you can view a painting of the very ship shown on this photo - HMS Volendam.
Holland became a refuge for those fleeing the oppression of communism in many Eastern European countries especially the Ukraine. Here you see the special pass they received.
I must admit that I had two favorites among the quilt shown. The first was the indigo blue nine-patch quilt shown above. The second was this log cabin quilt.
Look at all the beautiful vintage fabrics! This quilt was believed to have been made up of two quilts being sewn together as the barn raising pattern is not quite right when it is seen in its totality.
I fell in love with this photo of the little boy. He has the sweetest smile! If you look closely, you can see his very broken wooden shoe.
We went to visit the Menno Simons monument after the quilt show. I photographed the guide for you to read. This steel construction stands like a shadow of the old brick church. As you can see, it was a beautiful autumn day!
Some of the original bricks from the church were used for this part of the monument.
This day left a lasting impression on me which I would love to share with you. I purchased a set of these gift cards to give away to one of you. Just leave a comment on this entry and I will draw a name by the end of this week. Please leave your email address if you do not have a blog so I can contact you.