Here is PART TWO of my post on Brian Haggard's new book "The Crazy Haberdashers's Inspiring Life."
In this book, he is telling stories through his embroidery. One of the stories is about how an antique Log Cabin Quilt became a chapter not only in MY life, but in HIS also and really, you can't make this stuff up! (And, this is the long version!)
Several years ago, I found this antique Log Cabin quilt at one of the local flea markets. It was in various stages of decline and when I first saw it, I figured it didn't have a lot of life left in it. I walked around the store and eventually went back to it, thinking it was so beautiful that no matter what condition it was in....I could just look at it and enjoy it for however long it would last. It's ancient.
And, falling apart. And, so beautiful. It was $6.00.
I brought it home. I had it hanging on the wall for a while. Then, I folded it up and put it away. Every once in a while, I'd take it out and try to figure out what to do with it. I posted on my blog that I was thinking about cutting it up and making other things from it. Boy, people don't mind telling you that would be sinful. Really?
So, I put it away again, but kept thinking about how to rescue it's good parts.
Here you can see the condition it was in. This Log Cabin is done in the Court House Steps pattern, but on two sides were blocks in the Pineapple pattern. I'm sure it had something to do with how much fabric was available...something like that, but these days, no matter what, I'm sure we would call it a 'design decision.'
There are some parts in pretty good condition, considering.
So, figuring out what to do with it was on my mind all the time. While all this was going on, I became acquainted with Brian Haggard. I had purchased his first book and was an instant fan of his. We had many phone conversations. Last year, he and his partner, Kevin, came for a visit. While we sat around my dining room table (along with my friend, Jim G.), I quietly made up my mind that Brian was going to get half my Log Cabin Quilt. As easy as that. Before they left (which was entirely too soon!!), I handed Brian a pair of scissors and asked him to cut the quilt in half. He was to take half and leave me half.
I have not regretted that decision at all.
A little time passed and Brian shared a photo with me of a small quilt he had made from that Log Cabin. Having cleaned it and repaired it a bit....it received a new life. Next, he told me of other things he had made from parts of the quilt. I was just amazed.
Then, lo and behold, he says he is doing a quilt book that will be published in France and in it will be something made from that quilt that he had decided to do "in tribute" to my husband, Richard, affectionately called the "old navy man" to all of us. A name he gave himself, years ago, and which family and friends call him to this day. He is know by that name on my blog. If you read my posts very often, you will have heard it many times.
Well, I hadn't SEEN this tribute, but after the book people came to Brian's home to make photographs, he sent it to me. And, I was blown completely away. A big box arrived and in it was an embroidered piece beautifully displayed in a glass case (which I have called a cabinet, I don't know why). I was so touched. Brian had never met the old navy man, but you'd never know it. It
is very sentimental and very touching. I cried, of course.
A page from the book....
Here is the small quilt Brian made by rejuvenating pieces of the Log Cabin quilt. Being used this time as a table cover....beautifully, of course.
And, here is another, beneath one of his original quilts.
I'd say he did give new life to that quilt just by these small quilts.
But wait....not only is Brian full of talent...but he is also full of enthusiasm.
Knowing that about him, I knew he would use every single little piece of that quilt. And, he sure did!
So, here is the section of the book containing the story and the photos of the old navy man's tribute by my friend, Brian. I consider it an heirloom.
This is a page from the book...where you can see the 'cabinet' and also tell that there is a Log Cabin Quilt square in it. More to come regarding that.....
What I didn't know was that Brian also made a Heart for me. Yes, the entire world knows I love HEARTS! He took one of the blocks and made this beautiful heart....Embroidered with the word "Friends" and some other stitching. Ribbons, that adorable clock button in the center and, how did he know....I've wanted one of those Frozen Charlottes for quite a while. One of my favorite parts...the covered button, using a very tiny fragment of the quilt scraps to make a very attractive way to hang the heart. Brian loves details and I do too!!! Another heirloom and to me, a TREASURE!
Here is the page telling about the heart. The pattern is in the book too. I think I'm going to make one. Just so I can try it myself. Maybe I'll make two....one to keep, one to give away.
With pieces from that very well loved ancient quilt!
So, now I want to show you where the embroidered tribute that Brian made is....it's right here, in my bedroom/studio. There in the corner is where I knew it would go. The old navy man's ashes are in that box. His request was for me to find an old box and 'fix it up' for his ashes. There is a story behind that which I may or may not tell at some point. Depends on whether you want to hear it or not. Let me know, if so. I have been happy to see how many people visiting my home actually want to know the story...I love that and he would have loved it also. ♥
Here you can see the 'cabinet' opened....because of the glare from the light. It is a very special tribute made for a special person by a special person. I love it!
This is so hard to see....but it looks great in the book! Not only is it a very thoughtful piece of work, but it's also very tactile...being a very delicate and ancient piece of cloth and thread...I do touch it now and again!
Click to see these larger, if you haven't already. Sure makes a difference. Isn't this just the most thoughtful, generous thing a person could do?
And, now you see why I have a special connection to the book and to it's author.
The old navy man would love this embroidered tribute, and would have been overwhelmed by the thought and care Brian gave to honor him. And, not to even mention.....all this in a book, written by a man he never met....and published in France. He would be thrilled.
So, now, you are going to ask...what have I done with my half?
Ah....well, not one thing, but I do realize now that I have to at least have a wall hanging out of it...plus...well....maybe a few things to share. Many new lives still to come for that quilt. Who knew? I think, in this case, cutting the quilt in half was a wonderful thing. Spreading the love of making that quilt into beautiful things to be loved by many more people...just multiplies the love, right? Now, how could that be wrong? I often wonder about the person who made this quilt, lo, those many decades ago. He or she could be having a nice conversation right now with the old navy man about how we have all been touched by it in one way or another.
Me, I have that lovely embroidery to remember a special person by, I still have half of the quilt....and I've made a lovely new friend for life too. It just can't get any better than that!!!
THANK YOU, BRIAN!!!
(Remember, ordering information is in my previous post!)
Bird Nest Cottage
until next time