Thursday, October 28, 2021

An October Mini Quilt and Some History

First a story: 

In the spring of 1623,  90 some passengers
embarked on two small English ships,
the Anne and a smaller ship, the Little James.
After 3 months at sea, The Anne arrived at
Plymouth on July 10, 1663.

On board was my 9th great grandmother,
Hester Mahieu Cooke and her children
Jacob, Jane, and Hester.

She had stayed behind in Leiden in the Netherlands in 1620
while her husband, Francis and her oldest son,
John, sailed on the Mayflower heading for America. 

She must have been a very brave and very confident woman
to remain behind.   Her faith must have given her the strength 
she needed to stay positive and hopeful that
everything would work out according to their plan
 and that her family would be reunited someday.

There couldn't have been much communication
between November, 1620 and July, 1623,
but Hester left Leiden with others
from her Separatist group and
set sail for the New World.
What would life be like?
Would Francis and John be waiting for them?

Fortunately,  it was a happy reunion
on the shores of North America after 3 years apart.
Later they had one more child, Mary, who is my
8th great grandmother.  I'm glad everything
worked out!

They remained in Plymouth until their deaths
in 1663 (Francis) and Hester (1666).

This month I decided to work with my
Dutch fabric and use the book, Promenade in a Dutch Garden
to make a quilt honoring Hester and
her story.

It didn't take long to decide to stitch a small
mini quilt  made up of hourglass blocks with
a small appliqued star in the center. 
Maybe Hester focused on a star each evening and hoped that her 
husband and son were looking at the same star,
bringing them closer in her mind and heart.

Leaving Home, Leiden, 1623
17" x 21"

Pattern from Petra Prins and An Moonen's book,
 Promenade in a Dutch Garden

It gave me a chance to play with all the
beautiful Dutch fabrics that I have been collecting
along with some Jo Morton favorites.

An hourglass was a way for people to keep track of time.
I'm sure Hester kept close track of the days, months, and years
while she remained in Leiden.

The quilting is simple in the ditch
machine quilting,
nothing fancy, similar to her probable life style.

I finished the edges in a traditional
Dutch way with a separate facing.

This method makes the edges sharp and clean without 
an added frame created with traditional binding.

With Thanksgiving approaching it
will be nice to have this small quilt included in 
the holiday as a way 
to remember this brave woman
and her Dutch connection.

Until Next Time-

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