Monday 9 June 2008

A Time of Transition

Lowell Crazy Quilt, 1893 - 1904
Blanche Wiggin Staples (Robinson)
Lowell, Massachusetts
72" x 60"
Silks, satins, taffetas, velvets
Appliquéd, pieced, and embroidered.
Gift of Judith Hall, 1989

New England Quilt Museum

Extract from Catalogue:
Victorian Crazy quilts were frequently embellished with commemorative ribbons. Through their study one can learn about the maker and her family. Blanche Staples made this quilt when she was a young woman and signed it in the corner using a multicolored silk floss. A silk bandanna from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair serves as the quilt's central medallion. It is balanced at the four corners by side corners cut from a handkerchief containing the flags of many nations. Someone, maybe Blanche's mother, gave her a souvenir ribbon from the Women's Pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876 to sew into her quilt. Her father had political leanings, and perhaps offered Blanche the ribbon, which promoted Frederick T. Greenhalge's successful candidacy for Congress. Her parents were active Baptists and probably bought her the Adoniram Judson Centennial ribbon at Malden's First Baptist Church in 1888.


When I started this blog
it was my intention to write for a year
and then stop.
I knew exactly what I wanted to write
and how it would finish.

But there is one slight problem.
I don't want to finish now.

I had not anticipated
that it would become this important to me;
that I would make wonderful friends;
that I might still have things to write.

And so I find myself starting the second year
but the design is less clear to me.
It is a time of change for my family.

I think that this year will be more like a crazy quilt,
a collection of random pieces that I will sew together
and hope that they make a coherent whole.

I want to share the ups and downs of my new job,
news from MasterM's gap year,
MissM's adventures in South Africa,
MrM's high rise Birthday Celebration.

And so,
if you are prepared to set out with me,
let us go in search of the first piece
for my new quilt of memories.


blackbird said...


My heart!

You may crochet an afghan if you like, you could take up macrame or pottery - but YOU CANNOT STOP.

Anonymous said...

I was very concerned that your last post had a 'curtains closing' kind of feel to it. I was also very relieved to see a new post written today.

Let it evolve. Let it be what it is. Just so long as it brings you happiness.

I'll continue to show up...

Lina said...

Oh yes please, do carry on! There are some of us who "need" to hear you. OK, that's mostly me then!

Anonymous said...

How interesting, your thoughts. It is a time of change for more than one blogger, it seems. Though I have not been writing for a year, I can claim half?

I will continue to visit as long as you continue to write. You are my morning cup of tea.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you decided not to stop! I look froward to reading your blog.I am glad you will still be writing.

Eleanor said...

I'm so impressed that you had a plan, and that you knew how it would finish. I started blogging haphazardly, with no idea why or what or how. I now realise why I am not a quilter!

Quilt on Alice C!

Kitten's Lost Her Mittens said...

I am SO glad you're not stopping!

RW said...

I am quite honoured to read your words. I have been away from my computer this weekend save for the briefest of moments and I am glad to come back to this little community I have found. I have a difficult time articulating why I love it so? but I do. So, I am very glad to hear you will journey on.

Mary said...

I will come with you on this next stage of the voyage dearest Alice.

My heart stopped too when I read that you had planned to stop after a year.

Then started again.

Anonymous said...

So glad you still have more you want to share. Whew. That was a close call.

PS-Love, love, love that gorgeous crazy quilt!

Ali said...

You could write about paint drying and I'd still want to stop by.

It's a bit like quilting - sometimes the process is as important as the end product.

kristina said...

You really scared me there! Please don't stop writing. I so much enjoy being a part of Chez Magpie and am already looking forward to sharing in your adventures over the coming year. K x

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Carpe Annum will ever catch on ?

Unknown said...

Keep it coming Alice - we'll listen if you speak :o)

Anonymous said...

Carpe Annum, MRM ? Not a species of fish I recognise. Does it have scales with annular rings? I am sure there is someone out there with a recipe for cooking it.
How about seize the pen/keyboard. I leave you to do the translating!

dragonfly said...

You are the master quilter and I look forward to watching this year's quilt grow.
I'm so glad you have decided to carry on writing - your words are always beautiful and often make my day. T x

driftwood said...

so looking forward to your second year of quilting Alice, I love the idea of Blanche's quilt where she used treasured ribbons to create her quilt, and this year I'm sure your quilt will be filled with treasured friendships old and new.

and I agree with Ali, I'd still come even if you talked about paint drying, or cricket....

Anonymous said...

'Carpe pennam' would be seize the quill but it sounds a bit like cod Latin - altogether another form of fish.

I think we'll watch MrsM ply her craft across the waterway of the world wide web for a little longer

carolyn said...

I'm glad you are not stopping, I'd miss the The Magpie Files. Tried to send congrats on the new job the other day but Blogger wasn't playing and wouldn't post my comment,so pleased for you.

Melody said...

Once you start it is impossible to stop. Impossible.

I'm glad you've obviously thought so too, after all, I have only recently discovered yo and you can't leave yet. The door is locked.

julie said...

Oh good, I'm very glad that you're going to be sticking around for a while longer as I'm relatively new here and am hooked!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you're staying on. I've only just found you!

Anonymous said...

Carry on. I love it!

Can't wait to see where you go next.

Suse said...

I am SO glad you're staying another year.

BreadBox said...

Quilt On! Better a quilter than a quitter!


Unknown said...

Oh my, I had a fright half way through reading, I haven't been reading long enough to give up yet. So glad to then discover that you are not leaving us, I very much enjoy the rhythm and meaning of your words.

dottycookie said...

Alice! Are you trying to kill me with shock? I go away for a weekend and come back to this? Goodness, I need a stiff drink now.

Please don't stop writing. My days would be infinitely less fun if I didn't have your posts to read.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear you'll keep going. - I only came across your blog recently. Look forward to the new year.
Tricia Garrett

Anonymous said...

So glad you decided to stay a while longer --

Limecat said...

Do not stop.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Now, now. That's not nice toying with our emotions like that! ;) Glad you're just as adicted to this as the rest of us! Looking forward to another year. Happy Anniversary Magpie Files, and Magpie Family! :)

Fairlie - said...

A woman who starts blogging with a plan? You have my admiration. But all good plans incorporate a degree of flexibility. One year can easily be stretched an infinite amount. Please keep going!

walter and me said...

Oh, Alice, I'm glad you're keeping going! I treasure dropping by here (though have only commented once, how lousy is that...promise to do better!) and reading your observations on family and life and everything else! Warm wishes, Diana x

Ginnie said...

Gasp! It's a good thing I didn't know that your plan was to do this for only a year, as I would have gone into a serious decline just thinking that the end was near.

SO glad you have changed your mind, MrsM! xxoo