09 May 2012

unknown names

Since I'm attacking my space in a most ruthless manner, I'm finding treasure. Things I totally forgot I had (kind of makes it feel like Christmas).

I found these:

Its a stack of worn out old blocks I picked up. I was attracted to the circle and text (shocker, I know) and when I came across them, I sat down on the floor and thumbed through them.

The top block is the only one that is embroidered. All the others have names written on them in pencil but they never met thread:

It makes me wonder about who wrote them, who the names belong to. Why is there a group in the middle and then others in the spokes? Are they a family? Are they friends? A church?

Why didn't she finish stitching? She could be like the rest of us and maybe just lost interest. Or was the Queen of UFOs of her time.

Or was it something else? What if she lost them and that's why she stopped? What if she died?

I became suddenly aware that my own work might ask these questions years down the road. I have no idea where it will end up or who will want it or if it will just end up on someone's studio floor being studied.

Its odd to know that pieces of ourselves are out there, ready to be examined years from now...


Jean Baardsen said...

Doesn't it make you think you should sign your work? :o)

Judi Hurwitt (Approachable Art) said...

Wonderful post today, Lynn.

What will you do with all those fascinating blocks?

Jeannie said...

I know what you mean about Christmas in your studio. I just found all the soy wax that I ordered last year and didn't use. ;) Your blocks may have been a fund raising venture, hence the male names mixed in. During the war, ladies organizations would sell space on a block for a dime or so, embroider and finish the quilt. It would then be auctioned off at a community event. Of course, Joe the butcher would want to beat Jerry at the drugstore, so bidding was fast and fun. Or they may have been made for a church member (pastor, minister, etc.) who was leaving. They would make this up as a gift for the congregation. What ever the reason, you have some treasures! I love the graphic quality of the blocks. Okay, off to order some screens!!!

Lisa said...

Such interesting blocks. Such beautiful handwriting! Perhaps it is a tragic story where she married and moved away from home to the wild west (thus the wagon wheels) and everyone signed the blocks so she would remember them. She laboriously stitched each name in-between working beside her husband, tilling the land and taking care of their home. Soon she became pregnant and felt ill during most of her pregnancy giving her less energy to finish her blocks as winter was coming and she needed to stitch clothing for her baby. She and her baby died while she was giving birth and her husband hung on to her things for many years until his death. When he died (of a broken heart, of course) all of their things were auctioned off and no one knew the story of the quilt blocks but they couldn't dare throw them away. They were given to the wife of the auctioneer and she stored them in a chest until she passed away and her daughter gave them to a local charity.