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Blazing Star


Ann Wasserman



Hand pieced - hand quilted - salvaged


This quilt was sent to me for care and repair. When the owner and I determined that it was far too damaged for repair, I decided to salvage the few remaining (sort of) intact blocks. I rarely cut into quilts, but this one had such a wonderful history that I decided it deserved a lot more than being relegated to the rag bag. Here is the wonderful story, in the owner's own words:

 "When I was about 6 years old my mother was killed in an auto roll-over. I had lost my father to TB three years before and my mother's best friend took me to live with her. Her mother, whom I called Grandma Kinney, made me a quilt so that I would have it when I grew up, and she was no longer alive. The maker of the quilt was Louella Kinney, and she made the quilt for me even before the accident when I went to live with her daughter, Helen. I was then about 7 years old. About a year later, Mrs. Kinney had a stroke in Roswell, NM, where we had all lived before the accident. She could not speak or walk and was immobile for the next seven years. I think I read the book, Heidi, far more time than she would have like to have heard, but she was always so kind and had an indomitable spirit in her illness. She lived with us in Monahans, Texas, and was cared daily by Helen, her husband, Elmer, and what little bit I could do as a child. My sister took me to live with her in Kansas when she married, and Mrs. Kinney died about a year after I left Texas.

The quilt didnít resurface until sometime later, and I really donít know where it became so damaged. It truly does live in my heart and my mind as a symbol of her love, and in that realm it is in perfect shape.

You would think that someone would have been sure that I realized the care it would need in the following years, but after moving to Kansas with my married sister, I lost sight of it. I donít remember how it resurfaced after many years, but by then I was a young mother with a baby and apparently used the quilt as a beloved, but needed household item. I now live in New Mexico, and while planning to move in with my daughter and her family, after my husbandís death in 2005, the quilt resurfaced. It was high in a cupboard we were cleaning out and dirty from neglect. I was heartbroken that somehow I had allowed that to happen. I could not see putting it in the Goodwill Box until I had someone to look at it.

Of course you may use my story, and I would be proud to have you use my name. That is sort of a story in itself as I was named Shirley Ann during the heyday of Shirley Temple. There are a lot of us over-70 ladies that have my name. My motherís best friend named me as she had no children of her own, when she took me to live with her in Texas directly after I was released from the hospital in Colorado, where my mother died after our tragic car accident that separated our family. My sister, Pat, began calling me Shannie, and that stuck and matured into the Shan that you know.

I am so proud for Mrs. Kinney to be remembered in this way. No wonder people like quilts so much, as they certainly do seem to have little spirits of their own!Ē


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Last updated July 13, 2012
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