Katie Rettew

Katie Rettew
Concord, NH / Portland, OR
Childhood, Friends, Homemade

This quilt represents one that I made when I was a kid. My mom’s long-time friend, Harriet Ward, taught me to quilt when I was around ten. Harriet was one of those magical grown-ups who lived in an awesome apartment (on the top floor of an old divided house) filled with fascinating things, who cooked exotic-seeming food, and led a really cool life (plus she had lots of cats). Harriet worked at a school for blind children and is herself legally blind. She is perpetually cheerful and used to embarrass me when I got older by singing in public.

Together we made a purple quilt for my bed, with nine-patch quilt blocks and hand tied / tacked with embroidery floss. That quilt never quite got finished but I used it for years with the turning hold in the hem safety pinned together. I always say I’m going to finish it one of these days ... but it’s been in storage 3,000 miles away for the past few years.