I have been wanting to write about this absolutely, unbelievablely fabulous quilt, based on a translation of an old German Fairy Tale, and the interesting woman who designed and made the quilt. The story is like a fairy tale come true along with the quilted fairy tale.
But onto the story of this quilt and the woman who created it – Sieglinde Schoen Smith. I had attended the International Quilt Market trade show in October 2006. After the show, I was sitting in the lobby of my hotel waiting on the airport shuttle bus and had dozed off. I was awakened by a woman, Sieglinde, who had started taking to me. She had just arrived for the International Quilt Festival, this huge consumer show that follows Quilt Market. She was so excited – she had entered a quilt and hoped that she would win a prize. Sieglinde showed me a picture of her quilt, and my mouth dropped open – it was the most fantastic quilt. I thought to myself that if she didn’t win, the judges were blind.
Sieglinde grew up in Germany during the war and had the children’s book Mother Earth and her Children read to her. She had remained fascinated by this book and created her quilt based on this story. The quilt is really “mind boggling”, a work of art that is so detailed with both the quilting and embroidery.
As we sat and talked, Sieglinde told me of her childhood and family and the horrors of growing up during the war. She was completely fascinating and had me thoroughly captivated. Unfortunately, the shuttle bus came too soon and ended our conversation. I could have sat hours listening to her.
Although I had her card, I was busy working and did not follow up with her, but often wondered how her quilt placed at the show.
The next spring, I attended the Spring Quilt Market. As I walked the show, I saw a quilt hanging in a prominant spot and immediately recognized it. The booth was a publisher, Breckling Press. I asked about the quilt and learned that it had been awarded “Best in Show”. I also learned that the quilt was being used to illustrate Mother Earth and Her Children in a new children’s book.
When the Fall Quilt Market arrived in October 2007, Seiglinde was in Breckling Press’ booth, busily autographing copies of the book. She has another book coming soon, Mother Earth’s ABC, using the alphabet on the quilt. Congratulations to Sieglinde, who is living a true fairy tale, and a huge thanks for sharing her talent!