Emotional Patchwork at The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

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Our neighbours at the Mississippi Valley Textile Mill Museum in Almonte are showing a wonderful display of quilts. Why should we go? Quilts are treasures that follow their owner everywhere- no questions asked. All the beloved quilts created by the Crazy Quilters of Almonte were made to celebrate events and tell a story. Sit on one of the benches and be their material witness. Every quilt is a piece of art because each one is a masterpiece within.

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Seven days after my birth I was placed in a quilt my grandmother had made and brought immediately to her home. My mother suddenly had no idea who anyone was including her brand new daughter. Doctors hospitalized her, blamed it on postpartum depression and said it would be over in a few weeks. Each night for almost two years my father made the 45 mile journey into Montreal, Quebec only to have my mother insist she had no clue who he was. While he was sitting in the cab of a neighbours semi trailer on the way home, I was being tucked into my crib with the same quilt I came home from the hospital in.

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One night my father gathered me up in that same quilt and smuggled me into the Royal Victoria Hospital hoping my mother might remember me. I can still see her looking down at the cards she was playing solitaire with while I was holding on to the edge of that dear quilt in fear. To this day I will never forget that image – my father says I was barely two but I still remember the grayness of the room. While my life was sterile and cold, the quilt held warmth and security. My grandmother always said that blankets might give you warmth, but quilts wrap you in love.

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At age 12 my mother died, and my grandmother sat with me on her veranda and wrapped that same quilt around me while I cried. Life was never the same after that, and the quilt was placed on my bed like an old friend when I stayed with her. As I traveled down the road of life that quilt was always there while people came and went. Although it was aging gracefully it was still heavy and secure anytime I needed it. Through death and sickness it held comfort and the promise that it would never desert me. This quilt held my life with all the bits and pieces, joys and sorrows that had been stitched into it with love.

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At age 47 the quilt died peacefully in my arms. A terrible house fire had destroyed it, and as I looked at the charred edges, I realized the thread that held it together still bound the both of us forever. Now it was time to go down the final road by myself and remembering the words of Herman Hesse I began the journey without my quilt.

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”

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Quilting is about more than stitch lines– a quilt is nothing but an expression of love. Go see the result of expressions live at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. You will not regret it.

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Mississippi Valley Textile Museum

3, Rosamond St. E.
Almonte, Ontario
K0A 1A0

October to March
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.

April to September
Tuesday to Saturday: 10 am to 4 pm.
Sunday: 1 pm to 4 pm.

Children under 12 are always free

Admission $7.00
Members admitted without charge

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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