Leaving Something Behind

body temp sigI remember when I first started making quilts the thought of signing them never crossed my mind.  I did eventually start signing them, but it wasn’t until I got my free motion sewing machine that I began to enjoy it.  Now, every time I sign one, I think of a civil war era quilt I saw in a museum in Montpelier, Vermont that had the quilter’s name and date on it.   I think of how I was so glad that woman signed her quilt and dated it, because it made me feel like, in some way, I knew her.  Or something about her anyway.

Until recently, I was never interested in the idea of leaving something of myself after I died.  I actually wanted just the opposite.  To vanish as if I never existed.  But now I like the idea of maybe someday, a hundred years from now, someone finding something I made  and it touching them enough to wonder about the person who made it.  Like I wonder and make stories up about the woman who made that quilt in Montpelier.  Maybe they’ll find a copy of one of Jon’s books and put the pieces together.  Some local historian somewhere, or the distant relative of someone reading this right now.  Connections across time, the same stories told again and again.

Body Temple,  Kimberly's quilt all done.
Body Temple, Kimberly’s quilt all done.

13 thoughts on “Leaving Something Behind

  1. That sense of provenance is so important, Maria, and I am so happy, that you are signing your unique and beautiful pieces.
    The plaid blocks seem like windows into the soul of this quilt, and ultimately to yours. I love this quilt so much for so many reasons, and each photographic view reveals another.

  2. My day job is archivist for a 140 year old corporation. I love the work and as an ex-history teacher know the magic….the absolute wonder of holding something like a letter, a picture…a quilt in your hands and “feeling” the life of the person…their story. Inscribe…sign…leave a record. It is magic.

  3. Gorgeous design, Maria, lovely composition of the patterns. But what made me chuckle was the sight of your signature – the ‘W’ looks like the back view of a naked woman sitting on something comfortable, completely relaxed, at home in her body. Quite a few French impressionist painters painted women in such poses, so your signature is in good company 🙂 Having followed your blog/artistic development over the last couple of years, I’d also like to think that putting your signature on your designs goes hand in hand with an increased sense of comfort in your artist’s skin, no longer shy, no longer needing to hide from your admirers.
    Forgive me my free-flowing interpretations/associations, this just came into my head…

    1. I love the idea of my “W” being a woman’s bottom and I know just what you mean about the impressionist paintings. Maybe it’s no accident!

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