Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Recycled Treasures and the American Quilt Block

I ducked into the local thrift shop with the idea in my head, what little treasure will I find today?  I always start with the books and I could hardly believe what was right there on the shelf facing me.

I had recently written a post about this most beautiful and meaningful quilt  FOUND  Here and mentioned there is a book available and here was that book!  Rather serendipitous don't you think?  I had owned this book a few years back but had lost it.

It was priced at $3.99 and the deal there is if you buy four books, the fifth is free.  I don't collect books anymore but I did find a few more needlework books that I knew I could use so indulged myself.  When I got home I opened to the flyleaf and discovered it had been signed by Esther Bryan herself, the artist who began the whole journey of creating this quilt.

That was fun to find.

I can now show you the block for the United States of America.

The design chosen carefully by Hope Brans and Carol Campbell combines two traditional forms of hand work, the patchwork quilt and embroidered sampler.  Prominent is the phrase E pluribus unum  meaning "From many, one"  a reference to the many immigrants who through the decades have flocked to the U.S. and have made it their home. There is a lot of symbolism in this particular block; it makes for very interesting reading.
The layers of symbolism and meaning in all these blocks made me think.  I'm intrigued by just how meaningful our needleworked efforts can be.  I picture us the stitchers being a part of a long line of needleworkers down through the centuries using the materials at hand and taking inspiration from our surroundings to create with needle and thread.
 What a wonderful connection!