Three quilts and a life lesson I will never forget

Right after my college graduation in 2005 (I was 50 years old - it took me 32 years to get my degree in History!) I was hired as the Executive Director of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society.  Fancy title, hellish job.  It was a very good thing to do for three years although it took everything out of me.  The Society has a 1799 Stagecoach stop museum called Compass Inn and we did living history, candlelight tours, school tours, fundraising events, you name it we did it with a staff of two and a handful of volunteers.  Each year was a holiday event called the Festival of Lights.  We held a silent auction and for three years 2005, 2006 and 2008, I made a Christmas quilt to be auctioned off.  The first from 2005 is above. 

The second year, 2006, my daughter Becky did the cross stitch for this beauty.  The theme was sweaters and mittens.  I am really sorry this one got away from me because it was spectacular.

In 2007, I did not make them a quilt as my daughter, Jamie was getting married and I was too busy.  In 2008 I did however and it turned out to be my last year there as director.  Good thing too.  I was tired.  The board and I were not agreeing on the direction for the society and it was time to go.  I had started looking for a new job in October while working on this quilt and announced my departure after the Festival of Lights was ended.  Here is the third quilt.

Now this quilt has an interesting story, and a fitting end to the saga of Ginnie and the LVHS.  Things had gotten pretty rocky at the office - the board knew I was unhappy and frustrated.  Becky did the cross stitch again on this quilt and as you can see, there is alot of white fabric.  The texture on this one is a mix of satin and corduroy.  It is just beautiful.  I tell you these details because of what happens next.  At the opening night of the Festival of LIghts when the auction items, including this quilt are displayed for the crowd to peruse, someone spills red wine on the white border and does not tell anyone.  As soon as the night is over, I discover the spreading burgundy stain and totally lose it.  All efforts to remove the stain are in vain so I pulled the quilt from the auction which made me even more popular!  I have always wondered if the spill was vandalism.  I gave the quilt to Becky as a thank you for all her hard work and we have both decided the stain is just part of its story (a pink stain now).

Lesson learned?  Never, ever give away your joy, your creativity, your talent to someone(s) who will not appreciate and treasure it.  The funny footnote to the story is that two people kept bidding on the quilt after it was withdrawn and the winner (who also won the 2006 quilt) was so upset that she could not take it home.  Did she not notice it was gone, missing, vamoosed?

Sure wish I had that 2006 one though....


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Comment by Virginia "Ginnie" Leiner on October 25, 2014 at 9:39pm

Thank you Robin for your kind words.  I have always told my daughters that nothing teaches in life like a good mistake!  I too have received some quilts back that I made earlier in life when my folks downsized.  Always nice to welcome a quilted family member back home!  Happy quilting.  Ginnie

Comment by Robin Leftwich on May 21, 2014 at 12:15pm

The quilts are gorgeous.  Glad you have moved on and hopefully can enjoy life a litle more.  I like your life lesson.  I always give my quilts away, and keep only pictures, but most of them are close by --  like with my son!!  I did take back the first quilt I made for my mom after she passed away, and it is a treasure.  Getting htem back makes them even more special!

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