Monday, June 14, 2010

Heirlooms or Rubbish

I recently went to hear one of my hero's, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich speak at an "Evening at the Museum". She is one of my favorite authors ever since I read her book, "The Midwife's Tale". Mrs. Ulrich is a champion of women and what they do with their time, in todays and yesterdays world. She has studied history in the most intersting detailed way- through artifacts and diaries.

Laurel Ulrich suggests that each individual makes history by what they save- yes, by what objects or "stuff" you keep-that will be the history you will leave behind. They will be the sources, artifacts others will find after you are gone to represent YOU. "By caring for your things and the things of your ancestors, you contribute to a larger historic picture." To read an article about this go here.

This wonderful quilt was made by Rosella Calder Smith for me when I was a young child. I'm not exactly certian of when it was given to me but I do remember that my mother put it on my twin bed and one exactly like it was on my sister Kathy's bed that was right beside mine. Grandma Smith embrodried the darling animals, sashed the quilt in a bright yellow and quilted it with a wonderful backing fabric that is very typical from the 40's. It is self bound. I loved my "blankie". Kathy loved hers as well. She has a story about what happend to hers that she may want to tell on her own.

I want my childhood quilt from Grandma Smith to last long after I'm gone and be remembered as an heirloom, so I have labeled it and it will stay in a special place in my home. It is not rubbish even though the edges are mostly gone and it is worn out in several places, it is an heirloom. It reminds me that Grandma Smith had a boyant personality- as bright as the yellow in the quilt she made me, she worked all the time, even when she was sitting down her hands were busy, she loved me. She made me a hand made quilt for my bed. My Mom loved me because she let me keep the quilt on my bed and I wore it out holding it.

As Laurel Thather Ulrich said "Keep it, preserve it, cherish it, learn from it-- and keep the stories that go with it. As we walk the earth, we connect to one another, to the past and to the future through objects."