"A Mountain GArden" Quilt
WHat does it take to make a Mount Washington Quilt?
PINs & needles
Threads of Various Types
Sewers & Quilters
A small Money Fund & some Donations
Love of what needs to be doNE
After the decision was made by a few creative mountain ladies, to create George Payne’s last design (found in Sue Crowell's sewing room), Lila Wilkinson, Kathleen Brunner (my sister) and I went over to Kathleen’s barn and rummaged through her collection of fabrics. Kathleen and I also went to the Brookside Quilt shop in South Egremont and purchased the fabric we needed for the background. In early September while in Maine I searched for more fabrics that would be used to create the fruits and vegetables for appliqué and embroidery. It’s the smaller individual quilt shops that carry the best fabrics. One has to search.
After heading to Florida for the winter, it took me about a month to make up 20 packets (one for each square) each containing – patterns, fabrics, thread, and instruction sheets to send to any Mountain person who had shown interest in making a square. Kathy Zogran agreed to make the center piece which was a circular sign of leaves and berries, with our traditional “Mt. Washington, MA” embroidered on it. After sending the packets back up North in the hands of Patricia Verones, who was on vacation in St. Augustine, FL at the time, I gave the stitchers more than 4 months to get their completed squares back to me. I also suggested that anyone who needed help with their piece should ask for help from any of the other experienced sewers on the mountain.
In April when all the squares were complete and returned to me in Florida, I began assembling the quilt. Each square had to be measured and squared off, ironed and a few needed extra embroidery. I spent several hours in a St. Augustine quilt shop receiving assistance from an experienced quilter. I probably spent two hours a day for entire month of May putting the quilt together. There was much sewing and ripping (and a few swear words in between). At the time, I was not an experienced quilt maker. What I knew had been taught to me by Sue Crowell, my sister Kathleen, and Ted Batacchi of Sheffield. It was now time to purchase the remaining fabric to complete the quilt. This would consist of a frame around the squares, and then a border around the entire quilt as a finish. Then there is the stuffing, to make it puffy, and the backing fabric. I began to put the quilt together and ready it for basting (a process of large stitches to hold the three layers of fabric in place, while it is being quilted.) The quilt was then to be brought back to the Mountain in early June and set up on the 100+ year old quilt stand for quilting and completing by the Mountain stitchers.
But that was not to be. In late May I received a call back for my mammogram. The results of another biopsy did not look good. I was unable to head North on my initial date. I wrestled with the idea of sending the quilt up or keeping it with me and trying to complete it myself. (Good therapy.) After all the work I had put into it, I just could not let it go.
Kathy Zogran had planned on coming to the mountain from Florida in early June just to help quilt. When I told her of my predicament, she said, “Where the quilt is, so will I be.” So Kathy drove up to St. Augustine from Stuart, FL, and she and I spent three days & nights quilting and quilting while my husband, David, prepared our meals, snacks, & cocktails. Fortunately I have a large dining table with two extra leaves and good light. My neighbor Sue Klopenstein came by and we gave her a quick lesson in hand quilting and she spent several hours with us.
Kathy was there when the call came, telling me that I had breast cancer and that my summer would be interrupted. We just kept on quilting.
My surgery was in early July and I was allowed to come to the Berkshires for three weeks, prior to starting my scheduled treatments.
I brought the finished quilt with me and it was hung at Guido’s for a brief time before the Fair.
Needless to say, I have a great deal of attachment for this quilt of “A Mountain Garden”, and I am pleased that it lives on the Mountain at the home of Judy Ackley Whitbeck.
Every Mountain Quilt has a story. I wish I knew them all.
Linda Ney Dufault
Swallowfield, Mt. Washington, MA
"A Mountain Garden" QuilT, 2012