Saturday, January 23, 2016

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

I recently had the opportunity to reread a favourite book. It is called "Wedding Ring" by Emilie Richards. This was the first book I read that I knew was by Emilie (I discovered later that I had read some of her earlier works, without realizing who she was). I have since become a huge fan of Emilie, and have read everything she has written, that is currently available. The book had, of course, originally appealed to me because I am a quilter, and quilts are an important part of the story.

This is the cover of the copy I recently read, but my original copy had a double wedding ring quilt on the cover.

In this story, three generations of women all reach a turning point in their lives, and together they find their way through. They have never been very close, until the summer when Helen, the grandmother, loses control of her "stuff" and her daughter Nancy, and granddaughter Tess, come to help her downsize her "stuff", and in the process, find their own lives again.

Cissy, a young pregnant neighbour of Helen's becomes an important part of the story, as each of the women help Cissy, in their own way.

One of the things that struck me, in the book, is that Helen, a quilter, has no idea how beautiful her quilts are, how each quilt is a work of art. Her daughter Nancy, who never appreciated the quilts, as she was growing up, finds a way now to show her mother's artistry to the world.

So where am I going with all this? Well, a couple of years ago, an elderly lady, in a local apaprtment building, was trying to clear out some of her "stuff", so her children wouldn't have to decide what to do with it, after she was no longer able to tell them. Among her things were some Dresden Plates, that she had pieced many years ago (I am guessing sixties or early seventies). She had never done anything else with them and asked a friend if they would be of use to any one, or if she should just throw them away. Her friend brought them to me.

The Quilting Circle at the church appliqued the plates to some off white fabric. The background fabrics were scraps from other projects, so they are not all the same. Then they were joined together on point, with some dark sashing, and we hand quilted the whole thing. Yesterday, we finished the binding.

Gorgeous, isn't it. It needs a tiny bit more work, and a label. I will post a picture, when we hang it in the church. We always hang our finished quilt, for a few weeks, so it can absorb all the love and prayers of the people, before we send it on it's way. The quilt will be going from cold and snowy Canada, to a Habitat for Humanity build in Kilmarnook, Virginia. It will provide a warm hug, from us to the family that will live in the house, that the youth of our congregation will help build.

Which brings me full circle. Wedding Ring takes place in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.


  1. What a gift, and maybe the dear lady had no idea how far those Dresden plates would go. And to go where the book was, what a lovely story. This will be so appreciated, and be given with love from everyone's heart and all their hands too.

  2. What a lovely idea! That lady's quilt will be very much loved. I think I remember reading that book too, but have no way of was before I moved here and I can't access the previous library's records.

  3. This reminds me of the Dresden Plate squares made by my mother in the 1960's. She gave the squares to me in the 80's when she decided she had no ability to do anything with them. I took them home and left them in a box for over thirty years, before I came upon them and had wall hangings made as a Christmas gift for each of my children and grandchildren. They now have a piece of family history to keep and remember the woman who loved
    them. Just as in the story of the Wedding Ring quilt.

  4. Kate, what a beautiful quilt and a wonderful story--yours, not mine, although I hope mine is enjoyed, too. Thanks for alerting me so I could read this. I love Dresden Plates. I think I feel a need to make one now. (And I love that the backgrounds are all a bit different. That will make it pop even more.)

  5. Have you read the other four books in her Shenandoah Valley series that follow The Wedding Ring Quilt? In the last year, I reread the entire series. It is just wonderful!

  6. Have you read the other four books in her Shenandoah Valley series that follow The Wedding Ring Quilt? In the last year, I reread the entire series. It is just wonderful!

  7. A Quilt has many facets, to create a work of beauty. Not to mention many hands stitching lots of love into it. A wonderful way to hug someone with love. Will definitely look for this book. Thanks for sharing this gift with us!