Alida Ruth
 (P111- discontinued $28.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As told by Maureen

Alida Ruth and Kathryn Ophelia have much in common as both are interested in Pippsywoggin history.  But one collects history in words and the other in cloth.  Alida Ruth gathers the stories of her people through the saving of cloth scraps, which she then pieces together into quilts.  She has scraps that come from the Woods Pips who use bark fiber to spin in multiple shades of brown.  Others come from the Meadow Pips who weave coarse fabric from long blades of grass.  From the Swamp Pips come cattail fibers and from the dessert Pips come the soft greens of the cacti.  All these she collects and then cuts and pieces until each quilt comes together as a recorded memory.

 She never uses new fabric as, though colorful and clean, she feels it has no life and soul.  Rather she uses the good spots from a worn out carving apron where the smell and texture of the wood is an integral part of the scrap.  Or she uses a piece from the back of a coat that was burned when its wearer leaned too near the fire during the stirring of the first parsnip stew of spring.  She savors the rough texture of a mole wool shawl that was ruined when a young Pip mistakenly boiled it to remove some berry stains, and she treasures the linen that is marked with grass stain from an unfortunate battle.

 Some feel that she is investing too much time in cloth that is, perhaps, weak with age.  But Alida Ruth lovingly covers any rips with embroidered flowers and leaves and poignant words.  To further preserve the stories of the quilts she has asked Daphne Anne to paint a picture of each quilt with her watercolors, and Kathryn Ophelia to accompany each with a written description.  Alida Ruth knows that what the Pips take for granted as well‑known stories today can be lost forever unless someone who loves the commonplace records it for the future.  And it is in the commonplace that most of the living and loving of life is done.

1994, 2006 by Maureen Carlson
All designs and stories by Maureen  may not be reproduced in any way without expressed written permission.