Monday, November 22, 2010

For Lyn Foster

I am dedicating today's blog to Lyn Foster, treasurer of the Oregon Quilt Project, whose husband unexpectedly passed away on Saturday morning. Lyn is so much more than a treasurer to us. Simply put, she is a treasure. In addition to being a highly capable volunteer, she has been one of my biggest supporters as I've joined the "quilt ladies" here in Oregon. Wherever we've traveled with the group, she's always had smiles, hugs, and very kind things to say. 

Lyn absolutely loves old quilts. This quilt arrived on my doorstep today, a day spent thinking about Lyn, and now it will always remind me of her. I first found out about this quilt a few weeks ago when corresponding with a long lost swimming friend, Priscilla Kawakami of Salt Lake City, Utah, who happens to be an extraordinarily good quilt maker. 

It's been wonderful reconnecting with Priscilla, and our correspondence has evolved from primarily swimming to quilts. Priscilla knew me when I had just two quilts, and I stayed at her home when driving across the U.S. from New Jersey to my new home in Oregon. One of the few things I brought with me was my first "New York Beauty" quilt. Here is where I should say that the quilt, from the mid 19th century, is more correctly called a Crown of Thorns or Rocky Mountain Road.

During a recent e-mail exchange, Priscilla mentioned that Stella Rubin had advertised a great "New York Beauty" quilt in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine. I dropped everything, got in the car, and headed to Powells to find the magazine, but they didn't have it. I went to another shop, Rich's, which is a tobacco shop with a wide selection of magazines, and they didn't have the most recent issue yet - so I called Stella. Within the day, I had arranged to purchase the quilt.

I was immediately drawn to the quilt, just as I was drawn to Lyn at the Columbia Willamette Quilt Study Group meeting a year ago. Lyn approached me and introduced herself after I showed a Mariner's Compass from New Jersey, not far from where she was married. We've been friends ever since then.

This quilt is from Kentucky, made in the latter half of the 19th century, and is a very rare example. I've only seen three or four others with the vine sashing. It's appropriate that the quilt now reminds me of Lyn, because she is also very rare. She adopted me like a son at a time when I was just making my way into the mostly women's world of quilt history, and she's always been very supportive and made me feel welcome. 

Lyn Foster
So Lyn, this one's for you. My heart goes out to you and your family during this very difficult time. I hope this quilt brings a smile to your face, as you've always done for me.


  1. This quilt is full of energy - I hope it passes some of that on to your friend Lyn.
    I love the way the flowers (love apples?) stretch out and seem to attach to the corner stones with their suns or stars. The whole thing kind of sizzles.

  2. That is so sweet. I'm so sorry about Lyn's loss.

  3. Mark French just listed a NYB on ebay.

  4. Oooooh, Donna! Thank you!! Pepper also sent me a note, and I'm buying it. :)

  5. What a fantastic quilt! A lovely tribute to your friend as she's going through this difficult time.
    I enjoyed reading through your past posts too. You have a great collection! :)

  6. I am so sorry to read about the loss of your good friend. That is a spectacularly beautiful quilt, very fitting that it will remind you of your equally spectacular friend.

  7. Miss- Lyn is still with us, but she lost her husband. Sadly, I hadn't met him.

  8. What a wonderful post, and a spectacular quilt.