Pictured is an old quilt that my husband and I bought a number of years ago at a yard sale. At the time I was not really into quiltmaking. I just loved quilts and the whole idea of owning an old quilt seemed romantic, in some way. We took it home, very delighted with our purchase, and spread it on the bed to examine it. We could see right away that it was well worn and more damaged than we would have liked. That is probably why it was left by the collector ahead of us who bid it up to $30. Well, we aren't collectors and we didn't plan to re-sell it. The idea that it had been well used only added to the romantic notion of owning a bit of the past. I loved the pink sashing and the worn and faded colors. We have used this quilt quite sparingly over the years, and even less since I now make quilts myself. The other night my husband pulled this quilt out of the closet and spread it on the bed for an extra layer of warmth. I smiled when I saw it, and thought how comfort sometimes has more to do with sentimentality than anything. I like to think that the maker of this quilt would be pleased that it still brings pleasure and comfort to people. (Here's the part where all good quiltmakers are thinking, "Quilt Labels"! And I don't even have to write more on the topic, but if you want to read a Cute Quilt Story click on the link and scroll down.)
Last night my husband was watching football and as I sat and shared the same space with him I was looking through a book of antique quilts. I noticed one from 1910 that contained the same blocks as our old pink quilt. This block was identified by several names, including Whirligig, Fly Foot, Devil's Puzzel, Indian Emblem, and Swastika. The author claims that this block was quite popular for many generations. It lost popularity when the block symbol became associated with Nazi Germany. I showed the page to my husband and he said he never noticed Swastikas on the quilt. In fact, he wondered why I never made this block, and decided it must be too difficult for me. "Excuse me?" I say! "Well", he says, "It's all curved lines going every which way"!
Isn't funny how differently people look at things? Any quiltmaker would look at the block, break it down and see that it is simply Flying Geese! I feel like I have had a challenge thrown at me. There is no question that I can make the silly block! The question is, has enough time passed that we can bring this block back into our quilts? Can we see it as a Whirligig rather than a Swastika? I am sure there are many opinions out there around the world. What do you think?