DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION: FREEDOM IS THE
LIGHT TO THE WORLD
It was a dark and stormy night in early May, as I traveled back from Van Wert, Ohio after giving a presentation on quilts and the restoration process to the local Isaac Van Wart Chapter of the DAR by the invitation of Linda Schumm.
I first met Linda, her husband Denny, and daughter Bryn about a year ago. Bryn and her boyfriend Dejan Petrovski, a native of Bitola Macedonia attend The Ohio State University. When Dejan accompanies Bryn home Linda the solicitous hostess plans interesting trips so he gets to know the Midwest better. Linda's online searching leads her to the Macedonian Museum where I work and a special tour is planned. Linda can't get over that the only Macedonian museum in North America is such a short distance away.
The tour begins and Dejan is impressed that this non-Macedonian tour guide knows the shaggy rugs are umbolia, the leather shoes are opintsi and the traditional purse is a torba. After viewing YMPO artifacts the youth arm of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization, Dejan makes a connection-he had attended the 2007 annual MPO convention in Detroit.
Linda not only tours the museum, but the Born Again Quilts Studio too. Her mother died leaving her last quilt project incomplete. Linda asks me to finish it and I am honored. Hearing the stories and learning the history of certain fabrics, Linda tells me she is the program planner for her local DAR group, and would I be their speaker and bring some textiles to share. How can one refuse? The program is set ten months out for May when the weather is nice and I won't have to worry about the weather. HA!
The DAR Chapter meeting is full of tradition and ritual including prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. The ladies discuss the placement of flags on the veteran's graves and the upcoming parade. I learned that Linda's patriot ancestor was John Stukey/Stucky born in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania in 1742. He died August 1818 and was buried in Fairfield County, Ohio in the Stukey Cemetery. Linda's mom (Lois!) a genealogist traced and documented other revolutionary patriots to the family so grandmother, mother and soon daughter Bryn will each have a different Revolutionary War patriot to claim.
The ladies are anxious to see the various textiles I've laid out before them: Big floral curtains from 1940s, a beautiful four-block appliqué top pre-dating the Civil War, a red/off-white appliqué from the 1875-1890s. The piece that brings the most speculation and admiration is an unfinished Bethlehem/Lone Star top. Only the star is complete, another fabric needs to be added to finish out the design. But what color? There are so many colors in the star to choose from and the ladies have fun describing how they think it should be finished. This is why I tell them I have never finished it, because I am waiting for the person who loves it enough to have it finished to tell me what color will work best with the rest of their décor. It will truly be a time-span quilt pieced by a quilter in one generation to be finished and cherished by a different generation.
Driving home I reflect on the meeting, the women and their ideals. I'm glad my program fell in May, the month we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. I salute these daughters of patriots who give back to their communities and honor our fallen military personnel. May their work endure for another 100 years!
The DAR was founded in 1890 and is headquartered in Washington DC. This non-profit, non-political organization promotes patriotism, preserves American history and better education for children. The Van Wart Chapter will celebrate it's100th birthday this July. Any woman 18 years of older of any race, religion, or ethnic background who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. For more information on the Van Wart Chapter and the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution go to http://ohiodar.org/index.shtml
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts studio. Check out her etsy virtual shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/BornAgainQuilts?ref=ss_profile