Thursday, August 24, 2006

Little House in the Big Woods

Or at least, Dove in the cabin Window. When I was a little girl, like every other little girl I read the Little House series, in which Laura Ingalls has many escapades as the daughter of an American pioneer. Amongst many other things Laura also hand pieces a Dove in the Window quilt with her Ma and her sisters in front of the fire. Whe I was a little girl, my greatest wish was to make a Dove in the Window quilt of my very own.
My Mum was a beautiful quilter, who taught me how to quilt. Over the years I've looked for and found many different versions of a Dove in the Window block, but there seem to be so many that I wasn't sure which one Laura had been making, or how to go about finding out.
Silly me, if I had just thought of the internet (durr....), I would have found out ages ago. But it wasn't until last week I decided to Google Laura Ingalls Wilder, and happened upon the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home website, the museum of Laura's actual house in Missouri. I excitedly scrolled through all the Laura pens and book sets for sale and found......

....a pattern for the Dove in the Window quilt that Laura made in the late 1800's. I just about cried. I was so excited I immediately wrote an email to the cuator of the museum telling her how blown away I was, and ordering the pattern. Apparently I'm not the only one! She gets at least one email a day from people who have discovered the website and want to visit the house.
A week passed, and the pattern duly arrived in the mail, and the amazing thing about it was.... my sewing room was this book by patchwork legend Ruby Short McKim, who was writing patchwork patterns when Grandma was a girl, and apparently had a liking for traditional old blocks. This book was first published in 1931, and contains a Dove in the Window pattern which I had just decided was probably the one Laura made, if only because it was quite detailed and old fashioned. So I had already begun this.....

...which is the exact block, from the exact same page of Ruby Short McKim's book that the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum posted me! A long and winding story, but you can now all be assured that my Dove in the Window quilt is finally underway after 28 years and I'll keep you updated on its progress. Happy Quilting! Sarah