Within our museum, we hold the remnants of a tale brimming with tragedy, love and careful stitches.
Hanging nonchalantly on a cupboard among sewing kits and delicate needlepoint, there is a quilt, detailed and worn. It has a quiet loveliness that piques curiosity and draws the wandering eye. It rests, undisturbed and still. The colored fabrics are softly faded, sewn together to make up a psychedelic pattern of hexagons. However, should one take a closer look at this quilt, they would soon realize that it has a story of more weight than anyone would at first realize. Upon surveying the quilt, one would see the small pieces of paper peeking out from within the fabric. Letters.
The author, his name unknown in the face of history, was a sailor. He would spend many a day braving the vast seas, his life tied to the tumbling waves and bright horizon on the water. While he loved the sea, he also loved another, who lived far away in a little port town called Windsor. His fiancÃ©e, patiently waiting for his return. He would think of her often and every time he did, he would write her a letter.
The girl, back home and only wanting his safety, would anxiously await his letters that would alert her to his good health and his undying feelings for her. She would stitch his letters into her quilt gently, thinking of him and when they would be together once again. However, one day, the girl realized she had not received a letter in too long a time. At first, she simply decided that there had been interference with the mail; perhaps they had lost one of his letters along the way. She would wait another few days. Eventually, as no more letters arrived at her door, the girl began to get the sense of anxious dread. She waited, worry tying her stomach into knots. When the news came, despite what she had already known in her head, she had not wanted to believe it in her heart. Her sailor had perished at sea. They were never to reunite again.
Her heart broken, the girl could not bear to look at the quilt with so much of his love delicately stitched in. It only reminded her of the pain and sorrow and how she would never finish the quilt because no letter would ever again arrive. The quilt, to this day, remains unfinished, as it will for the rest of time.
The names of the couple are lost, but their story remains, still told by the quilt and the precious letters stitched inside.
(This is my take on the story behind the quilt. Unfortunately, we only have general details of what really happened, but the bulk of the story is true. I just added a little description! The quilt is still on display in the museum and its story was too beautiful and heartbreaking not to write about.)
Acadia, Summer Student