Quilt Gallery

Friday, August 5, 2016


Mine is a family of bibliophiles. We return from most of our travels with at least one addition to our library, which now numbers over 2,100 volumes. One can travel vicariously by perusing books in our library, noting from the inscriptions where and when each was purchased, and often finding tucked in the pages some little travel momento, a boarding pass, a museum entrance ticket, or a cafe napkin, that once served as a bookmark.

Shops specializing in used books are particular favorites. You never know what you will find amid the labyrinths of teetering colorfully packed shelves. When visiting our daughters at school we've stopped in at Federal Street Books in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and always come away with treasures for our own library shelves.

Inside Federal Street Books, Greenfield, Massachusetts

I imagine it was from a shop very much like this one - albeit via a Google search - that I acquired my own copy of "The Cookie Tree," a book illustrated by my Uncle Blake and which I remembered so fondly from my childhood. You may recall from previous posts that I used the cookie tree image as inspiration for the appliqued center of a quilt.

Only after I'd put all the pieces together did I realize that the scrappy borders reminded me of the narrow aisles and crammed shelves at Federal Street Books. And like used books being passed from one owner to the next, many of the pieces in this quilt have been passed along from previous owners. It seemed natural to name this quilt "The Cookie Tree and Federal Street Books."

"The Cookie Tree and Federal Street Books" (machine pieces and quilted, 57"x77")

The book theme also makes this a perfect gift for my daughter, who has loved books from the time she was an infant. One of her first words was "book," though funnily enough she used it to refer to milk. Maybe she just thought that milk and books were similar because they both provided her with sustenance. Though I don't expect the quilt to provide sustenance, I do hope it will keep her warm at night and brighten the grey winter days she will soon face in Ithaca, New York.