Monday, May 30, 2011

2011 Jamboree Quilt is nearing completion

About this quilt...

Here is the Jamboree 2011 Quilt Challenge Quilt ready to be quilted! The money raised by this quilt at Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree will benefit the Jamboree Scholarship Fund.
Genea-Quilters took up the challenge and in less than six weeks came up with enough squares for this beautiful queen-sized quilt. It is amazing what quilters can do for a good cause!
A big thank-you goes out to April Layher for piecing the quilt which now goes to Jill Seebert Snider for quilting. Thanks to April for the beautiful job she did. Gena and Ol' Myrt contributed to the sashing, batting and backing fabric. Tami Glatz is creating the book with all the blocks and the quilter's pics that will be given to the lucky winner of this beautiful quilt.

Honoring one's ancestors is what genealogists do, and making these ancestral-inspired quilt squares is a natural for quilting genealogists. The stories behind each square speak to the strength and vision of our ancestors who carved out an existence for their families despite hardships. Many fought for freedom, and tragically, some lost their lives for a cause greater than themselves. From these brave men and women we have inherited resiliency and a yearning for peace.

Quilting is a ancient art. Many quilters have been women whose names would otherwise have been lost to the ages. As modern quilters gather our resources, determining patterns and color schemes, we harken back to an earlier age of creative men and women who put thread in their needles and created quilts to provide warmth against the winter storm, comfort the disheartened, cheer the newlywed couple and welcome the new baby into the family.

My own 2nd great-grand aunt speaks of the trials crossing the plains of Nebraska in 1859 with these words:
"There were nights when the memory of merry England came back and contrasted desperately with the awful lonesomeness of the barren unbroken plains; the terrible despair of the howling wolves; and the terror of the snakes skurring [scurrying] around us as we shifted our feet into the baked sand dunes. I was often so weary and footsore when I lay down on a quilt thrown upon the ground that I could not sleep. The food was so poor that it left a nightmare memories of the bacon and flour masquerading in ghostly forms over the sandy mirage." (1)

Though times may be rough, the comfort of hearth and home is channeled by the quilts we sew. We salute those whose colorful designs and tiny stitches have been handed down through the generations.

May those who benefit from the 2011 Southern California Jamboree Quilt Challenge Scholarship Fund hone their research skills and break through those genealogical brick walls.

May you who inherit this quilt feel the love of family and home expressed by each quilter's stitch.

DearMYRTLE, your friend in genealogy.
Co-Founder, Genea-Quilters

(1) Ellen (Wasden) Christensen's personal recollections; photocopy of typescript at the Church History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Transcript online: