I have always been intrigued by QUILTS! I see, in a quilt, a metaphor for life, a mosaic of sorts, a bringing together of various pieces of colorful fabrics and creating a storybook of art. Just as our lives consist of chapters and sequences of events and experiences that help to churn us into unique individuals, the small pieces stitched together in a quilt create a singular tapestry unlike any other.
When I was visiting Tom and Ursula in Sequim a few days ago, Ursula took me over to Tom’s sister’s house to have a look at some of Joyce’s many quilts. Joyce so generously gifted me with TWO unbelievably beautiful, entirely hand-stitched antique quilts. I will always treasure these quilts.
Joyce and Tom’s mother, Esther Macmillan, spent a lifetime making quilts. Esther and her sister were part of a quilting circle where they spent hours quilting and socializing.
Esther learned the craft from her mother, Emma Ekey. Emma Ekey, otherwise known as Grandma Ekey, started making quilts well over 100 years ago (her grandchildren, Tom and Joyce are in their 70s). Emma Ekey was from Richmond, Ohio. Joyce and Tom speak fondly of Grandma Ekey. Joyce described her as a feminist as Emma Ekey took vacations with her children, without her husband in tow, and was an independent thinker. There are only two remaining quilts made by her, slightly threadbare in places and fringed around the edges. Joyce has one and I now have the other!
As I was photographing the quilts, Rick was reading the local newspaper in Ocean Shores and he excitedly said, “Fran, there’s a Quilting Circle, Quilting by the Sea, here in Ocean Shores! Maybe you can learn how to quilt?” I think I’d rather simply admire the work of Esther and Emma, do yoga, teach, work in my garden, and blog!