This is the third week of trying to get my Sunbonnet Sue collection organized and ...well readable to some extent. That is----the paper part of the collection, I haven't even touched any of the quilts, blocks, tops, aprons, etc.
I like the paper part of quiltmaking. I like patterns. I like books about quiltmaking and I like history books in general. I hope to smash all these things together one day and write something for me to turn to as a resource. Of course it will also be helpful when I can actually think about a particular pattern and not have to rummage around in 5 big boxes to find one piece of paper.
It's hard not to think about a lot of different things while I pull some of these things out. Some old patterns have memories, some remind me of my grandmothers--maternal, paternal and great maternal. Some remind me of the people who gave me "these old scraps". I think about my father who has been gone for over 15 years now and how he enjoyed looking at the old magazines I would find (he like the ads and always noticed something I hadn't).
But I think that I've thought the most about the women I didn't know and never will. They were the pattern collectors: amazing women who collected and preserved quilt patterns during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. When I was younger and would pick up a piece here or there, it was only by chance. The pattern collectors organized swaps which I think were called round robins. They protected our quilting heritage and built bridges for the second quilt revival.
The world is a different place from even 1993 when my father passed away. I wonder these days what the pattern collectors would think of the internet and the amazing (and quick) amounts of (reliable and not) information that a quiltmaker can get with a post on the world wide web.
Well back to work....I have three boxes left to go.......