Thursday, March 10, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Us? Lost? Again?

Friday evening found Jane and me sitting at an intersection on the Mississippi State University campus — lost again. Oddly enough, it was the “Morrill and Hardy” intersection. ’Nuff said about that one.

We were trying to find Herbert Hall, where we were going to spend the night as we were on the campus for a quilt symposium hosted by the MSU library and the Extension service, among others.

The symposium was wonderful! The speaker at the reception Friday night, Carol Vickers, was one of a team that researched quilts in Mississippi. And they found a bunch of them — enough to publish a wonderful book — Mississippi Quilts (written by Mary Elizabeth Johnson, who is from Montgomery, Ala.). Mary Elizabeth was at the reception and symposium also.

Saturday, after breakfast in The Bakery (where of course we had to buy some of that wonderful MSU cheese) we spent the day in the Library auditorium, learning how to identify old (maybe I should say antique) quilts and how to repair and care for them.

The last part of the afternoon was spent examining antique quilts brought by attendees. Naturally, I’d brought one of my treasures recently acquired; Jane brought one dated 1916 that she’d acquired at an auction for $22 — there were 32 quilts there for appraisal by the panel.

And some were spectacular! There was one log cabin made of silk from before 1800 that had nearly disintegrated and some from the same time period that looked as good as new ones. There was even one that had come down from the household of Martha Washington (yes, George’s wife). No documentation that suggested she might have worked on it though.

One quilt dated 1801 was absolutely gorgeous and looked better than many of the much newer ones.

We left the campus around 4 p.m., after just soaking ourselves in “quilt stuff.” We were going to make a brief stop at a quilt shop in Starkville and head home.

The quilt shop was closed. So, we decided to just follow this strange map and take a short cut.

Do I have to say anything else? Yes, we were lost again.

We ended up on a gravel road somewhere outside of Starkville and followed it around and around and around.

Approximately an hour later, we saw a sign — Starkville City Limits.

At least we knew where we were!

• If you’d be interested in a “quilting bee” Jane and I have several others that have asked. Please call me at 252-4261 or at home, 252-3948; or Jane, 526-9330.

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