When I first saw Karen's call for stories, I submitted mine. I've written several times about this quilt myself and sent her a copy of one of my articles. I was thrilled when she said she wanted to include it in her book. Karen is quite involved in the S.O.S. Quilts project and Alliance for American Quilts. She's been collecting people's stories for years.
The book itself is beautifully made. Smaller with quality paper, nicely bound, hardcover and quality photography. Nothing too imaginative, artsy or creative in the layout. It is solid and plain like many of the people and quilts featured in the book. Just holding it is a thrill. I don't often see books so finely constructed. It would make a beautiful gift. A quality gift. If you go by the construction of the book itself.
Sadly the content is flawed. My heart broke when I read what she'd written about my Fish and Baskets quilt. Perhaps it is only my story that is screwed up. But I suspect that there were other errors made in other stories. To hold this book with any kind of historic or truthful, factual accuracy in the recounting of these stories would also be an error.
I exchanged several emails and photos with Karen to provide her with the information she needed for my story. Yet some of the information I supplied was either misunderstood or overlooked. According to Karen I am an only child, much to my brother's surprise and our mother goes by the name Leah. She despised that name and always went by Gladys. I emphasized that time and again. And yet again. She also said Mom had three brothers, no they were step brothers and her mother was 48 not 42 when Mom was born....
It is a shame I wasn't given a galley of the final story for me to correct.
|My Fish and Baskets Quilt|
It is sad that such a lovely book has to be so badly flawed -- at least in the story that I'm most familiar with. I can't speak for the other stories, they may be perfectly recounted.
I'm a writer and I specialize in profiles and I know how frustrating it is for writer and subject to be misrepresented or facts reported incorrectly. I'm mourning these mistakes because I had really wanted this book to be an heirloom that I could give to my sons, to my brother, so that a part of our history would be forever written. But sadly my family would laugh this story off as a joke.
Sad for us and sad for Karen because I know she worked very hard to compile this information. I'm just sorry that she couldn't maintain the accuracy that such a lovely book deserves. There are, sadly, typos that went uncorrected. I guess this is an example of one of those 'only God makes perfect things.'
For quilt lovers who are not familiar with the facts of the stories in this book, it would make a delightful read and a lovely gift. I just can't read it with any trust in its accuracy.
NOTE: Still a few days to leave your comments on the previous blog for a chance to win a free copy of Rayna Gillman's newest book. Drawing will be held Jan. 15, 2012.