Emotional Patchwork at The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.



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

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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