It's been nearly two years since I walked into the Bloomington (MN) Historical Society Museum for the very first time. I came to drop off something for my dad, and while I was there I asked if they had any quilts in their collection. Did that question ever send my life in a whole new direction!
Out on display for the 150th anniversary of the Dakota Conflict was an Album quilt. Not just ANY album quilt. This one has amazingly complete information inked right onto the quilt. Not only the year it was hand-sewn, 1893, but the names of many of the women who made it.
Now, it's pretty remarkable that a quilt of that age is even dated at all. But to have 34 individual names is amazing. Now, add the fact that most of them were Native American. Can you say RARE?
My curiosity got the best of me. Who were these women? What stories did they have to tell? Was there even any evidence they existed at all, except for their name on an old quilt? It seemed as if the women called out to me, and it became my passion to know who they were.
So, mostly from my home computer, I have researched the names and the small South Dakota Presbyterian mission where they lived. What I found could fill a book. And it has. Well, a small book anyway.
The basic research has been compiled into a 40 page booklet and printed up for a public presentation I will be giving about the quilt at the Bloomington Historical Society Museum this Sunday afternoon at 2pm.
The quilt was donated by a member of the Pond family, a family with roots to the earliest days of white settlement in Bloomington. Thus, the quilt has been named "The Pond Album Quilt."
So, even though it's small, and self-published, it IS my first book. There is a lot of information that didn't make it into the booklet and maybe a larger book could be written in the future.
But for now, if you will indulge me for just a minute...
I'm an Author! (Squeal!) (Happy dance.)
....Ok, I'm back. Thanks.