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Monday, November 13, 2017

Sweetheart & Mother Pillows

Last Friday night I was invited to present a program on the topic of Sweetheart & Mother Pillows (also the title of my book) at the Capital Quilters Guild in Concord, New Hampshire. I was thrilled that there was a good turn-out for this event. I provided a brief background about how I came to collect so many pillow covers and write about them and then I showed 30 slides of various examples of pillow covers from World War I, World War II, and the years of the Civilian Conservation Camps. I ended by showing a pillow quilt composed of 20 pillow covers.



After my talk, many people came up to congratulate me and say how much they enjoyed it. Some purchased my book. I feel very grateful for such an outpouring of warmth and appreciation. I had not given any talks in quite awhile, the last one being in my home town of Deerfield, NH (on this same subject). Someone asked me if I was now going to "do the circuit." Hardly. I came out of "retirement" to provide this program.

In preparing for the presentation, I must have re-read my book about five or six times, learning more each time I picked it up. The captions, though tiny, are packed with information. I suggested using a magnifying glass. I know mine comes in handy, even though I have 20/20 close-up vision with glasses. Even if someone did not want to "read" the whole book, the 247 beautiful color photos are a compelling reason to purchase it. Each photo represents a piece of history.

Souvenir de France:  two soldiers march victorious through the
Champs de Llysses in Paris. This is hand-painted silk with ribbon
work. Collection of Patricia Cummings


I did a search online to see who else was selling my book. I found one person in Australia that is selling it for $80 plus dollars including postage. Someone in Portsmouth has it listed for over $100 dollars and there are many other prices in between, depending on where one looks. I still have copies of the book available and can customize them for holiday giving by signing them. My price is the original retail price of just $24.99. Of course, I do charge $3 dollars for shipping. To inquire, please write to me at quiltersmuse@gmail.com

The books serves as an historical document with anecdotes and descriptions of generals and enlisted men alike. It is also a price guide, providing a suggested range of price for each pillow cover. There is a chapter on care and conservation of these historic vintage and antique textiles. No one else has ever written a book about them so my book is a landmark study. It truly is beautiful and honors all branches of the military except that I could find no U.S. Coast Guard pillow covers until after the book was published. Even the Merchant Marines under the U.S. Maritime Service are included.

My sister standing next to a carved bear at Mancos State Park in Colorado


Recently I lost my sister, Barbara. She was a cheerleader for all of my efforts in writing. I sorely miss her but you know, as I gave that talk Friday night, I did feel as though an "angel on my shoulder" was helping it to go smoothly. As I was remembering the brave veterans who sacrificed so much for our country, I was also thinking of her, a veteran of life who had overcome so many storms until she met one that was too much to surpass.

"Pride of Nation" wool pillow cover from World War I. Please disregard
the url for Quilter's Muse Publication website page which has been discontinued.


I am thankful for the opportunity to share the story of some of the beautiful pillow covers I have collected. I really do enjoy presenting, which hails back to my training as a teacher of Spanish  (and quilting). Maybe that is the last time I shall do anything like that or perhaps not. It is always hard to predict what life has in store for any of us. We must seize the day (carpe diem) and make the most of all that life has to offer!

Patricia Cummings



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