Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Special Quilt Can Comfort without Covering You Up

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Special Quilt Can Comfort without Covering You Up

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson

BRUNSWICK, GA. | There's quilt hanging in Brunswick that is unlikely to ever cover a bed.

It's called a Friendship Quilt and it has a title, "Connecting People Through Shorebirds."

The quilt has 35 panels of shorebirds all created by youth and artists from 12 communities in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

The art is imperfect as could be expected of young artists who apparently were taught long ago to not take up too much of their canvas with the sun, to place a yellow quarter circle in a corner and let it radiate from there.

Alice Keyes, vice president of coastal conservation for One Hundred Miles, said the shorebirds on the quilt squares are longudistance migratory species, some flying 9,000 miles as they make stopovers for fast food on the beaches along Georgia's islands. Some were painted on the island by students in St. Simons Elementary's advanced art program. Their subject birds alight about a city block east of the school, and before some artless development, the school had a pretty good view.

These are shorebirds that are dependent on the coast for their survival, Keyes said.

Some feed on the eggs of the horseshoe crabs, others on little bivalves and sand worms that are abundant along Georgia's 100 miles of coast.

The quilt squares show dowagers, red knots, Wilson's plover, the longubilled curlew, oyster catchers and others. There's a puffin, which you won't see on Georgia's coast, and, Keyes said, "We also have a mermaid."

Alas, mermaids are thought to be about as abundant as Sasquatches and Loch Ness monsters.

Were she alive, my grandmother wouldn't know what to do with this quilt.

She handustitched squares from leftover fabric that seldom matched and then sewed those together in a quilt top on her Royal sewing machine powered at the just the right speed by her right foot on a cast iron treadle. She put a thick layer of cotton batting over a soliducolored liner, covered it all with the quilt top and spent days stitching it together in a seashell pattern. …

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