Saturday, February 28, 2009

History thread into patchwork

If you do nothing else this weekend, take some time to look at these beautiful patchwork skirts. They are not just any skirts but garments that tell a story of people's hope and courage. At the Fries Museum, they exhibited a few of what is referred to in Holland as a Nationale Feestrok or National Celebration skirts. These patchwork garments tell a very deep story about a country that was torn apart but not defeated by a war as well as the story of a courageous woman named Mies Boissevain-Van Lennep.


You can read her story here online and also see another skirt here at another museum. I think after you have read this story, you will not help but to be inspired by the fortitude of those who went ahead of us in history. For Dutch readers, another interesting article here.


1940 - 1945 "Bent, not broken"...

The Jewish star...

Red cross patch...

I am always touched at how woman turn to needle and thread to leave an imprint of themselves in history. Remember as you perhaps sit down this weekend to stitch or quilt, that your piece is not simply something for today but can also have an impact on your family as an heirloom for coming generations.

14 comments:

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Wonderful photos, wonderful post.

Vee said...

These are so amazing...Thanks so much for sharing this.

Tam said...

Heidi,
Thank you so much for sharing this information about the skirts. Both of my parents were in Holland during WW II and my Dad was held prisioner by the nazis. I called my parents this morning and asked if they knew about the skirts. Mom vaguely remembers, but the skirt conversation led into another conversation of their personal experiences during the war which has always been a mystery to me (understandably the war is not something they speak of often) So again I say thank you for sharing these beautiful skirts and their history and helping me further understand my parents history.
:-) Tam

Nancy said...

Hi Heidi:
I am thinking more and more about trying to leave memories behind for our family. I am now in the process of trying to remember things from my childhood as far back as I can, so I can do journals for all of you. I am now also doing the family cookbooks with the receipes in the original handwriting. I am at my scrapbooking desk right now.
These skirts are really a treasure.
All of your quilts will be also.
Love you, Mom

Pondside said...

What a way to record history - they are beautiful....and powerful!

mainely stitching said...

What an amazing part of history - after living here for over a decade, I'd never heard of this part of the war history. Thanks, Heidi!

hazel said...

What a lovely story Heidi so interesting but also quite sad. The skirts are so attractive. Thank you for sharing. Hugs, Hazel

Susan in SC said...

beautiful and touching...

diane said...

Thank you for sharing this story. It is amazing what binds us and what gives us strength! I hope more are found, they tell amazing stories.

Ginny said...

These are amazing pieces of art, as well as being functional. You are right - we should think beyond today when creating. I have a lot of the special dresses and other outfits I made for my girls when they were little packed away in a cedar chest. I don't think about them much, but it's amazing to think that, hopefully, one day they will be worn by my granddaughter(s), should God bless me that way. It gives another perspective that is important.

MarianneD said...

Fijn dat je ook bent geweest,het was de lange treinreis meer dan waard hé?

Jeanne - WillowTreeStitcher said...

Thanks for this interesting story Heidi. I am going to share it with my quilting friends. By the way, I LOVE your French ABC Sampler. I was not that moved by it until I saw yours - now I am off printing/saving the pattern off. You have hooked me!

angelasweby said...

Heidi,
What fascinating pictures. Stitching of any kind really is threads through time - one of my favourite expressions. There's always so much to learn in your posts :>)
Hugs, Angela

Lynne said...

I thought I had left a comment here. I was mistaken.
What an interesting post. I will read up on it. I had never heard of them before. I would love to be able to see them.