Friday, May 01, 2015

Last Minute Details!

Look what I spotted today!

Do you have your copy yet??  I got a big smile seeing it tucked in there on the shelf front and center.

It’s the Eve of Leaving!

Am I ready?


Today was also a day of waiting….

For things like “We have to get this oil change and tire rotation and vehicle inspection TODAY because your tags are going to expire before you get back from Italy.”

Oh.  My.  Word.

I’ve just not been home to handle this….and the thought of wasted hours at the dealership while there are other things, so many other things to be done…well….

But I did it.

((And this is when I let you know that no….they don’t have a shuttle that will take me all the way to my house, it’s more than 15 miles and no, there isn’t someone else that can take care of this for me..I’m it!))

This is what we do when waiting:


We sit in the “customer lounge” and paper piece hexies!

All the while I am still making a list in my head of everything else that needs to be done – including tweaking the website a bit more because evidently I didn’t check a box when adding one item – and because it didn’t say to figure shipping on this item…that item supposedly wanted to be shipped free to the person who ordered it.  OY!

I posted this photo to Facebook while sitting at the dealership, and got many questions on my thimble, so for those of you who missed it:


TJ Lane thimble!

I’ve had it for several years.  It’s my second one – and I like it.  It’s short so I can bend my first knuckle.  It fits my finger like a glove and I often forget I even have it on while doing other things…

I wear it on a chain around my neck nearly ALWAYS.  One never knows when she is going to need a thimble!

While sitting there waiting my phone buzzed…..oooh look!  A coupon for 60% off of one item at Joanns!

This is when I tell myself I am going to bring out the big guns and really save a lot on a notions item that I NEED.

So I hightail it over there ---only to find that EVERYTHING I want….EVERY. SINGLE. ITEM is already marked 30% off, or 40% off…and you can’t use a coupon with a sale already in place.

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is to keep quilters from EVER saving 60% off of ANYTHING and is just a ploy to get us into the store.

Did I buy anything?  Yes, but only at 40% off, not 60%.  I needed some fine pins for my quilters in our Tuscany hexie class ---they will need to pin their rosettes to their backgrounds so they can applique them down.

PINS!  That’s all that I left with – PINS!

There was nothing else that I wanted or needed – not even rotary blades, because they were on sale at a lower discount and I was mad.  LOL!

I spent the afternoon getting book orders out and boxing up everything I’ll need for my Soldotna, Alaska group.  I can’t Fedex or UPS to Alaska.  It has to go Priority Flat Rate mail if I am going to afford it.

After this there was nothing to do but grab a quick nap and think about dinner when I woke up.


So I want to post a photo and I value your comments.  But keep them considerate and insightful. 

Open your mind and get rid of any knee jerk reactions that may cause you to type faster than you can think.

I am participating in an online discussion of FLY FOOT or Whirly Gig quilts on Facebook.


Two hanging on my living room wall.

The one on the left dates to 1870s.  The one on the right –1920s.

The price was SO LOW when I bought them –no one wants them.  And I can understand why ---but my question is, will a motif that was once considered “good luck” in Sanskrit and used as a popular patchwork pattern ever return to its original meaning after the corruption that happened prior to and during WWII?

I had to save these quilts.  I love these quilts for the hands that made them, and to me they have nothing whatsoever to do with the Nazi movement during World War II. These are no more a sign of Hitler than a five pointed star ((50 of them on our US Flag)) is a sign of devil-worshipping satanists, or a yellow smiley face is a sign of Walmart. These were popular treasured patterns by quilters past ---and though I don’t want to hurt anyone by sharing them, I feel they NEEDED to be saved.

I have dear friends who are Jewish.  A new friend in the Baltimore area --her mother and her sister survived Auschwitz. Am I insensitive to my friends because I wanted to save these quilts?

If you walked into my living room, as a Jew --would you be offended?

I love the comment made by Pepper Cory and a link to her article on the subject:
While we can rename it with its earlier title, we can do nothing about the emotional response the swastika symbol has for anyone who remembers/was affected/reads history.
This symbol will need to lay low for a good long time. Here's a blog I did on the subject a couple of years ago:

Keep it respectful, and use your thinking cap before you hit send!

I’m off to pack for Tuscany!

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  1. Sorry I missed you at JoAnn's I must have been at lunch. lol When I saw the picture of Quiltmaker magazine I thought it was our display. I hope you come back in after you get back from Tuscany.

  2. Anonymous9:32 PM EDT

    I have a crocheted tablecloth made by a relative in the very early 1900s that contains the same symbol as your quilts. My grandmother put it away when WW 2 began and it hasn't been used since. We keep it because of its provenance, but as Pepper said, it will probably be a long time before it graces a table. We have attached its makers name and date, however, just as we would document a quilt.

  3. I can understand how a Jewish person or anyone who knows history would recoil from this symbol. I agree they need to be saved but I believe it will be a long, long time until the memory of this horrible perversion of an old pattern will be forgotten. It certainly makes for a teachable moment. I worked with a man whose parents were were saved by Otto Schindler so I may have a different perspective on this. I am not sure it will ever be long enough.

  4. I didn't know the pattern dated back before the war but I just can't make one of these. If I'm doing a sampler that has it in it I have to substitute because my heart just won't let me sew this one. That's just me... I'm not Jewish and as far as I know I don't personally know anyone who was punished for being Jewish. I just know it was a symbol of such horrific treatment to innocent people. I'm not saying everyone should feel that way so please don't take it that way. If I had a quilt made by someone I love and who is gone I would treasure the quilt for their work but I just can't make one myself. Might be silly but it just makes my heart hurt for the ones who suffered.

  5. I think this is a symbol that can never be reclaimed. We have a wealth of geometrics to choose from - we can let this one go.

  6. Leslie W.10:05 PM EDT

    I also have 2 TJ Lane thimbles and an angel needle threader/needle case. I treasure them so much. I met her at a Quilt Symposium in Wilmington several year ago, and she was a delightful woman. She took my first thimble back with her to resize it (for free), and returned it to me in a snuff box with tissue paper. I will always remember that... Have a wonderful trip to Italy. I went about 6 years ago, and Tuscany was just so beautiful. I will for sure go back some day....

  7. Ugh it ate my first comment so here we go again. 😃

    Although intellectually I understand that this symbol had an honorable distant past as a symbol of both Sanskrit and Native American cultures, emotionally it will forever be linked to the atrocities of WWII. My MIL's family, as well as an entire village (those that didn't escape to The Americas) were all destroyed. Somehow I don't think that we can ignore that nor should we.

    Yes it's important to save these quilts, documenting their names and dates, but I personally couldn't see displaying them in my home. I think that it may be more important to remember the swastika as the symbol of the evil that man can do to one another in the hopes of preventing it from happening again. So perhaps it should only remain as a footnote of it's distant past?

  8. I am not sure that this design can ever be made normal again. Six million people would say no. Oh, I forgot, they are dead.

  9. Anonymous10:28 PM EDT

    my Joann's did not mark down the quilting supplies. I finally decided I needed to get a rotating cutting mat and treated myself to the biggest one.

  10. I love your quilt hanger. How clever.

  11. Anonymous10:38 PM EDT

    Since so many people are not aware that this symbol was around prior to the Nazi party, do you even want to risk leaving someone with the unintended perception that you are pro-Nazi? Save the quilts, keep the quilts, but don't display them in your house where someone might catch a glimpse and get the wrong impression of you.


  12. I am not sure the symbol will ever be presentable again, at least not for a very long time. I think it is good to keep them, but I don't think I would display them in my living room.

  13. As soon as I saw the quilts I recoiled. These are from a different era but we can not in our lifetimes ( I am 79) and for many future generations display these without repugnant reaction. Put them away..the quilts and quilters are blameless but we are not ready.

  14. This symbol cannot be reclaimed in our lifetimes. It will always be "too soon" for us, even though many of us weren't born until long after the war ended. There is just too much associated with that symbol, and not only historically. Don't forget that neo-Nazi groups and other hate groups still use this symbol. These quilts should definitely be saved and documented, but I would find it very difficult to remain in a home (or place of business) where they were on display. I'm not Jewish, but empathy for human suffering truly has no religious boundary. Perhaps 100 years from now our descendants will display them, but we just can't. Just my opinion.

  15. I have such mixed emotions regarding your quilts. I am Jewish. Growing up I knew people who lost their entire families in Germany. I understand that this symbol was once something good but now it means something horrible. I can and never will be able to see it as anything but evil and since the "Skinheads" and Neo Nazis are using it today to promote evil, I believe it will be long after I am gone before it can be seen as anything but evil. These quilts will never be seen in my home no matter when they were made. It is too difficult to think of anything but evil. To put these symbols into my home would be akin to my denying the holocaust and the 6 million lives that were so brutally taken from us.

  16. Anonymous10:51 PM EDT

    Nazi symbol and confederate flags....hate, torture, racists, death, starvation, children torn from their mother's arms. You have so many beautiful quilts, why not hang a quilt over these???

  17. I'm glad you rescued those two quilts from our quilting past, since it will be a cold day before any quilter tackles that pattern again. Those beautiful old quilts are a testament to innocence lost. I'm confident that you will find a way to display them and to talk about them so that we never forget.

  18. Carol Riggert10:56 PM EDT

    I have an old piece of Native American beadwork that has this symbol on it. Apparently it was used by them also. Too bad a group has to turn something so negative.

  19. I pray no one takes this that I am trying to change anyone's mind or in any way lessen the pain and horror the symbol was used to promote. I am simply offering that when we let evil change what was(is) innocent and part of our cultures, we are giving it a victory. We must reclaim what they have taken or more innocent items will be taken. The quilts are not black on red and certainly not intended to represent that. Again, I do not mean offense to anyone. Just my opinion of all that we are losing ground on in these times.

  20. The first year I learned to quilt I made a rail fence baby quilt for my granddaughter (2008) and since I was not using a pattern, I ended up with a Whirly Gig setting. Never even noticed it, sent it off to my daughter and she caught it. My granddaughter loved her little flannel quilt and still has it. I will probably not use that setting again just because of the reaction to it and because I have no wish to insult anyone.

  21. Anonymous11:09 PM EDT

    I don't think anyone who knows you would be offended by these quilts--they are a part of quilt history. Although the Jewish people suffered the greatest losses, people of other faiths also died horrific deaths at these 'camps'.
    Should a visitor ask about the swastika on the quilts, it would be an opportunity to explain what the symbol originally meant (good luck, fertility) and who incorporated it into their decorations (Native Americans, Chinese) before it was bastardized by the Nazis.

    Diane - NH

  22. I tend to be somewhat of a rebel and like what I like and think for myself,however even the rebel in me will not let me think this block as friendly or anything good. I could never sew it and I would never display it because of what it stood for in my mind.The horrors will live long after these quilts have disintegrated.It is even hard to write this. I am not Jewish but it hurts my very soul to think of it as anything else before or after WWII. I love old quilts with a passion & history but these need to be documented and stored for a long,long time. Add a note as to why it shall remain in storage.
    May, Michigan

  23. Hi Bonnie.
    The symbols in these quilts are not swat sticker. A swat sticker "arms/legs go towards clockwise. Those ones go anti clock wise, so they are the good luck/prosperity ones.
    However, I agree that that type of symbol is mostly associated with the Nazis, and has spoilt it for most.
    I travelled to Bali in 1983 and was shocked to see your version, the good luck one, all over Bali.
    I found out the difference through my Mother, when I told her about it.
    At a very young age my brother drew one and I remember my Mum was soooooo cross. He told her it wasn't the Nazi one, but Mum said she didn't care, and to never draw it again.
    I think it is the dark colour that makes the older one look so "nazi". I didn't notice that the younger one had those symbols in it, until I re read your post. It is all to do with the colours, which disguise it.
    As for rescuing the quilts-thank you for preserving a wonderful part of quilting history. Meran xx

  24. I looked and then looked again and cringed at the quilts. It was a knee jerk reaction....the swastika was all I could see. After reading what you said, I can intellectually appreciate their history and workmanship, but it is still too ingrained as a symbol of hate in my mind. I agree they should be saved, but I would not display them in my home. Hopefully no one will ever forget what happened during that part of history, but the symbolism of that emblem will not be as hard to see.

  25. "The word "swastika" comes from the Sanskrit svastika - "su" meaning "good," "asti" meaning "to be," and "ka" as a suffix.Until the Nazis used this symbol, the swastika was used by many cultures throughout the past 3,000 years to represent life, sun, power, strength, and good luck."
    I was curious about the way the arms were headed, so I googled it. Very interesting reading. I like the shape and would not have thought of a swastika if it had not been mentioned. It is not only native American but many cultures used it, until the Nazi ruined it.

  26. Interestingly the quilt on the right does not immediately remind me of the Swastika. The one on the left certainly does. I find myself feeling similarly to others commenting here. These are very important pieces of history to be documented. But also to be stored away. It is a a testament to how one megalomaniac can take a benign symbol and turn it into the insignia for evil. Personally, I'm not sure there is a way for this block to return to it's innocence. And do we really want it to? It would be like forgetting the importance and tragedy of the Holocaust.

  27. Anonymous11:58 PM EDT

    While I went looking for an example of a swastika, Craft Mad posted her comment - it's not a swastika. As she says, the "legs" turn the other way. Do most people know the difference? Probably not. To me, the whirly-gig looks less like a swastika because of the angles in the center. And as others have commented, color is a big factor too. They need to be preserved and the symbol explained.

  28. Anonymous11:59 PM EDT

    My grandmother came to Canada from Germany and would roll over in her grave to see that symbol in someone's home, even on a quilt. I don't think they look beautiful where you have them and I think they should be destroyed.
    Diane in Canada

  29. Thank you for HONORING the person who spent their time and effort making these quilts.........no doubt to put on a bed to keep someone warm. Please see the workmanship of some unknown and unaware quilter. I agree no one would want to use this pattern today, and rightly so but these quilts represent something so true and innocent, why pack them away in disgrace for something that came way after their creation. To me, these quilts cancel out the evil symbol and make it whole again.

  30. I support your decision to save these quilts. They were made with love and positive intentions at the time.
    I have some antique hand pieced blocks with this design made by my great grandmother. They are beautiful and I treasure them. I have to admit however, that I may not ever be able to put them together and finish a quilt for display because of the opportunity for misinterpretation. So, occasionally I carefully take them out of my cedar chest, admire them, pet them and love them, and then put them away.

  31. I strongly feel as most every one else does. The quilts should be stored with documentation. I could not look at them without thinking of the horror that symbol most recently represented. I just saw a picture on aol this morning of the walls of the Auchwitz gas chamber scared with the fingernails of desperation. Most certainly you have happier looking quilts to hang there.

  32. I would not display them in my home. They may be lovely examples of a pattern from time gone by, but to me, the symbol no longer has its original meaning. Even if I did not feel that way, why would I want to display something in my home that would cause pain to my friends? No quilt is worth that.

  33. I understand the need to save beautiful work of a bygone era, even if the subject matter (through no fault of the creators) is now a hated symbol and a "hot button" issue. Why not donate the quilts to the National Quilt Museum in Paducah where they could be conserved/preserved?

  34. Great quilts; I like John Keith's comment about maybe donating them to a museum. But then again, maybe attaching a note to them about the original name of the quilt blocks. Such a shame that they have been tainted by association. The work is so nice. Not sure if I would display them or not. You are saving the art.... not what people think about them. Good luck with your dissension and have a wonderful trip to Italy... some of us live vicariously. Thanks for sharing.

  35. I like the idea of donating the quilts to a quilt museum--a proper place where the history of the quilt can be explained. I don't personally think that people coming to your personal home are looking for a "teachable moment." I feel that it is far-reaching to try and make a comparison of the "happy face/smiley face" and a symbol similar to a swastika.

    I am of Polish heritage and the events of the Holocaust caused my father and his family great pain. When I see the quilts you have displayed, all I see is a symbol that meant nothing good. You make happy, scrappy quilts. Let those that enter your house see that cheerful creativity!

  36. Sherry Yeakel2:11 AM EDT

    I am not Jewish and not particularly conservative. I understand the history of the quilts and can appreciate the artistry and work that went into them. However, the symbol and what it means to most people is not something I would ever feel comfortable displaying in my home. I would save the quilts but I could never use them. I lost a Great Uncle to WW II, I feel it would be a betrayal to his memory and I know it would greatly distress my Mom and Dad. My Dad is a veteran of WW II, he would never understand some previous meaning to the symbol, it will always just mean one thing to him and I have to respect that.

  37. A good question to get my brain started on a Saturday morning! Read your post and went off to think about it before replying, and I find that my thoughts mirror those of many who are posting here: as an historian and quilter, I honour the work and artistry of past quilters who made these designs with the most innocent of motives, but as a modern liberal with many Jewish friends, three of whom lost grandmothers to the Holocaust, I would not feel comfortable displaying these quilts - even if they went up for a while, they would have to come down before certain friends visited, as I know they would find them distressing. I also live in France for part of the year, and I would definitely lose friends if I displayed those quilts, the memories of the Occupation are still quite raw. Preserve them, document them, bring them out occasionally as evidence of a more innocent age.

  38. Those symbols are currently being used as American hate symbols as someone mentioned now. I would not have them in my home. I'm not sure if I would burn them or donate them to a museum. I guess I'm not very tolerant of hate symbols.

  39. Thank you Bonnie for opening my eyes to a new pattern. You are right, we should see a pattern for what it used to be WAY BEFORE someone ruined it. I knew it used to have a previous meaning, but had forgotten. I also learnt only last week, that a place that used to have VERY tragic memories for me, I thought Id never would go back to it, I did, I was upset but once I cried and heard a nice man singing a lovely song there, I realised they were only memories and I had to move forward. Thank you again, yes someone ruined that symbol, but we DONT have to remember him!

  40. Lots of interesting comments.

    If you travel in India you will see the swastika symbol everywhere, as there it is still a good-luck symbol. I don't think the Nazi use of the symbol will be remembered in another 200 years, but the Indian people are sure to be still using it then, as they have for thousands of years.

  41. Anonymous7:13 AM EDT

    Kudos to you for saving and displaying these quilts. Anyone who knows you will know that you are respectful of everyone's feelings with a deep respect for the quilters of yesteryear. I'm very proud to say "I follow Bonnie Hunter". She's a great person and quilter.
    Greetings from Canada.

  42. Symbols have power, and unfortunately this symbol has the power to cause more hurt than good. In my opinion, the evil this symbol represents DOES outweigh it's good history. I couldn't display them.

  43. I completely understand you wanting to protect the work of women (or men) who had no idea of what this pattern would later remind people. I probably would do the same. I would hide the quilts in some safe storage with a full explanation of the province for future relatives to understand your thinking. Others who do not quilt might jump to wrong conclusions about yourself. Understanding helps people deal.

  44. Sandra Jantzi7:44 AM EDT

    When I first looked at the quilts, my eye was drawn to the second one because I like the colors. My first reaction was, "what a pretty windmill-like block". It wasn't until I looked at the first quilt that I noticed they were swastikas. What a vivid lesson on how fabric choice changes how a person views a quilt. I wish what was once beautiful hadn't been marred by such evil. Sadly organizations of hate are still using this symbol today, keeping the ugly alive. I am glad you are preserving these quilts, however.

  45. A second thought: will or should the symbol ever be accepted? I have heard young people buy the idea that the holocaust never happened. Granted these are teens who pick up controversy off the internet. Perhaps it's just for shocking adults. Still...lest we forget...

  46. 3rd: I attended Catawba College in Salisbury NC. The Catawba Indians were the inspiration for the name. In the tile floor of the foyer of the administration building is this symbol. At times a rug is placed over it. At other times no rug is placed on it. This was a symbol the Catawba Indians used to identify themselves. I ddin't like looking at it.

  47. I sure hope that the hexie is never used by a terrorist....we would all have this dilemma....I personally would store the high contrast one with documentation.
    Have a great trip,hope you see the magazine cover in France!
    Diane Evans

  48. First kudos to everyone for stating their points of view respectfully and kindly. Bonnie you are a quilter and a quilt rescuer...so it would be no surprise to me to find these old quilts in your home. I would look at them as quilts first, pieces of our history. I do agree the one on the left seems to make more of a statement because of the colour being bolder.
    Do we as quilters think this pattern will ever be popular again...probably not but we should try to understand where this pattern originated from not where it ended up.
    Thanks Bonnie for making us think about ourselves and the past.

  49. Funny you should mention the whirlygig. I joyfully was making a quilt for my stepfather. It was coming out wonderful. I showed it to my daughters and they both frowned at me. WHAT??? They looked at each other then said, "Do you really want to give that quilt to Papi"? My stepfather is jewish. I kept looking at the quilt top. I didn't see what they were talking about until they held it away from me. Oh! I still didn't think it would be a big deal. It was not intended to offend. But I kept thinking would he enjoy it if all he saw was that symbol and not the beauty of the quilt. I ripped it apart and made a even better quilt. Never told him what it looked like before. No need to attach that memory to it.

    Have a great trip.

    Aileen in Florida

  50. The thimble is beautiful. When I saw the quilts, I thought pretty, I really like them. Then the symbol hit me. But the first is thought is what I hope most people will see, beauty. Thanks for the history.

  51. I agree that these quilts should be saved. If they were mine, I would put them away with some of my other quilts and bring them out at times to look at but I personally would not hang them in my home. I was born at the end of WWII and that symbol, still today, is a sign of something horrible that happened to our whole world. I think it's a considerate thing to not display the quilts, I actually felt shaken when I saw the quilts, and could not get past the design.

  52. I understand your love for quilting history and love for the hands that made the quilts. Unfortunately a very evil man and his followers has ruined that design forever. We are visual creatures and that vision is burned into our memories as evil. No one should tell you what to do in your own home. Just know that people will be offended when they see the quilts.

  53. Good Morning, Bonnie; When I first saw your quilts, I immediately thought of the symbol and how it had been used in history. I love that you rescued these quilts and honored the people who had quilted them. I love that you love the quilts enough to display them in your home because of that honor to them. I have traveled Europe and have seen what a man did in his own hatred to others. I have ancestors who have suffered because of what others have done to them because of hate. I have seen people use their own hatred to do things to me personally. A symbol is just a symbol. It is not the perpetrator of hate, but does identify who are the haters. People sow hate. I look at a bigger picture of the issue. In history, quilts have historically been used to send a message. If these beautiful, innocent, quilts were in my home, they would be proudly used to educate everyone what hate does to others. They would not be hidden.

    I admire you for being bold enough to ask the question and giving us the opportunity to respond.

    Take care.

  54. I am not Jewish but strongly believe the quilts should be stored away with their documentation or donated to a quilt museum for preservation. Display some of the other beautiful quilts you've made in your home. Enjoy Tuscany ... my sister and bro-in-law went and absolutely LOVED it (and they have traveled all over the world). Anxious to hear about your adventures ;-) Linda

  55. Anonymous11:40 AM EDT

    First of all, I was impressed in the strength of the colours of the 1870s quilt- after all those years. No, I don't think the stigma will fade from that symbol, sadly. Also, I have no other knowledge or relation to other Sanskrit symbols. I understand your feelings of rescuing the quilts because you collect antique quilts. And I can appreciate your sentimentality in rescuing the work of long ago quilters. But my thought of seeing that shape is the one from my lifetime.

    Jill Leslie. Jill7leslie@gmail.com

  56. The connection to the WW II events is also what comes to my mind when I see the symbol even though I know of all the other uses/meanings it's had. What deters me from making the block is...I don't like it! LOL! It just doesn't do anything for me. It feels aggressive and unfriendly. There are other block designs that have the same impact on me as well. A quilt is for comfort so I use blocks with designs to make me feel that peace and comfort. Many groups of people were affected by the atrocities during the war(s) and we never can be sure who they are today. My heart goes out to them all. (It's interesting that a 'rising sun' design does not seem to evoke the same responses..or perhaps it does) There are other designs which could be said to be logos we relate to the horrors happening now. There will always be something that can be disparaged depending on each person's interpretation and as long as there are people who commit violence.

  57. The connection to the WW II events is also what comes to my mind when I see the symbol even though I know of all the other uses/meanings it's had. What deters me from making the block is...I don't like it! LOL! It just doesn't do anything for me. It feels aggressive and unfriendly. There are other block designs that have the same impact on me as well. A quilt is for comfort so I use blocks with designs to make me feel that peace and comfort. Many groups of people were affected by the atrocities during the war(s) and we never can be sure who they are today. My heart goes out to them all. (It's interesting that a 'rising sun' design does not seem to evoke the same responses..or perhaps it does) There are other designs which could be said to be logos we relate to the horrors happening now. There will always be something that can be disparaged depending on each person's interpretation and as long as there are people who commit violence.

  58. The connection to the WW II events is also what comes to my mind when I see the symbol even though I know of all the other uses/meanings it's had. What deters me from making the block is...I don't like it! LOL! It just doesn't do anything for me. It feels aggressive and unfriendly. There are other block designs that have the same impact on me as well. A quilt is for comfort so I use blocks with designs to make me feel that peace and comfort. Many groups of people were affected by the atrocities during the war(s) and we never can be sure who they are today. My heart goes out to them all. (It's interesting that a 'rising sun' design does not seem to evoke the same responses..or perhaps it does) There are other designs which could be said to be logos we relate to the horrors happening now. There will always be something that can be disparaged depending on each person's interpretation and as long as there are people who commit violence.

  59. Good grief!! So sorry for the THREE posts! No idea why that happened.

  60. Anonymous1:48 PM EDT

    As Tina H. said I also am of Polish heritage and know that not only Jews suffered but also many, many Polish people.
    Sharon H. mentioned that many young people say the horrible things never happened, BUT I lived near a German family and the man insisted that the Holocaust never happened. He claimed the pictures were fake.
    I could never display such a quilt or sew this pattern. But agree that they should be saved or donated to a museum. Bonnie, you have so many other beautiful quilts why display these two?

  61. Anonymous1:58 PM EDT

    Dear Bonnie,
    Like one of the other comments, I too recoiled when I saw the quilts. I know we all understand the importance of saving quilts but I could never display them in my home. Preserve, yes.....display NO! With all that Israel and Jewish people are going through right NOW with hatred and attacks, this symbol, as another person said, makes you look like a supporter, even though we all know your only concern is the preservation of them. Put them away, please. If only out of respect for 6 million and more! We all love you Bonnie and we don't want anything to put a stain on you!! Enjoy Tuscany, you lucky girl!!!
    Diane Murphy

  62. Bonnie, i am of German descent and i say that proudly to honor MY family--not Hitler. he was one man, one very evil man and what he did was atrocious. i think it's important we remember our past so we don't allow those mistakes to happen again to anyone. we should never forget what happened. Your quilts had nothing to do with hitler, just as you or i don't---it is your home and you may display whatever you like. they will give people pause and they will react but they are just quilts--beautiful handmade quilts. full of as much love as any quilt is. it would be much different if you had a picture of him on your wall. the quilts are innocent--they are not evil. i do think they should be saved
    and those are my opinions and are not meant to be hurtful to anyone

  63. Anonymous2:57 PM EDT

    I too think it is important to preserve them. The younger generation has little to no idea of the symbolism. If they were mine, I would attach a label with the history of the block/symbol and how that perception was changed by Hitler and the Nazis. Then they would not only be preserved, but the future generations would be educated also.

  64. Words shift meanings often, to the point that they are rarely spoken again. Art is different since so much of it survives (where words can disappear--except perhaps in a book or past dictionary). Just like words, we can know what the meaning was previous to an altering event, but it doesn't make a lot of difference. I have a feeling that this symbol will very rarely be created in any modern time again. It may be unfortunate, but it's just how things go. This became the symbol of something much more profound and worse. Saving the quilts, sure. I don't believe I would ever be able to display them, but they do make a great history lesson about how something so terrible can alter thousands of years of good very quickly--in a blink of an eye really.

  65. Hi Bonnie, The high contrast quilt immediately reminded me of the Nazis and their atrocities. The other, in a softer palette, is not as obvious.

  66. I think it is going to be a very long time before this pattern is admired for what it is...a quilt pattern. I am glad you saved them, but I would not hold out high hopes that people will forget that symbol and all it stood for...because sadly some people still believe in it.

  67. Anonymous8:25 PM EDT

    The one on the left certainly appears to have a swastika on the bottom left. Or is it just my eyes??

  68. IMHO . . I would keep them if I felt they were an important contribution, but I would not display them for I would not want to hurt or offend anyone who might be affected negatively by this insignia. My motto is, "if in doubt, do without".

  69. JoAnn's almost got me with the coupon. I wanted a go cutter die and it wasn't on sale and it was in stock. However, the coupon's fine print eliminated AccuQuilt dies. Sigh.

    The one on the right looks less like the Swastika, and I understand your motivation to rescue the quilts. However, that is not a pattern that can reasonably be used again, yet.

    Hope you have a fabulous trip!

  70. Anonymous12:58 AM EDT

    I personally have always loved the "spinning effect" of this block and have made it as a sampler block a couple of times. I don't worry about what others might think of my using it -- some regard other symbols like the cross, with different emotions as well.
    What one CAN do is to alter the pattern a bit by making the ends of the blades a bit longer and adding another triangle -- still have the same spinning effect but not so mindful of the Nazi symbol.
    One could also work into the border or an alternate block the words "Indian Good Luck Token" so it is clearly identified as such.
    I also think I may have seen a couple of lovely Amish quilts using this design ..

  71. Anonymous1:34 AM EDT

    When I first saw the 2 quilts my mind went straight to my MIL who is 90 years old and German by birth, Australian by choice. This symbol reminds her of how much sufferring she and her family went through at the hands of the Nazis. They are not Jewish but really had no choice but to do as they were told to. She had to leave school to work in the labd army doing whatever needed to be done; milking, plowing and a lot of heavy darm work with little food or equipment. I wouldn't have these quilts in my home out of respect for her hurt but feel they need to be preserved and appreciated in respect of their makers.

  72. Bonnie, if ever at joanns and you want to use your 60% off coupon on a product that is already on sale, ask the cashier to ring it at regular price. Then you can use your coupon.

  73. Anonymous1:49 PM EDT

    Bonnie. Keep you quilts they are part of the World's history - good or bad. Good and bad things happen because of "people" are being allowed to do evil in this world. God gave us all free will and it is what we do with it. Prevent the bad and encourage the good is how it should be.

    This is the problem with the young adults of the USA now. They have not been taught the entire history of this Nation or of World History. Without that knowledge, history is doomed to be repeated!

    They are not taught of the past and being politically correct or worrying about offending anyone is destroying this country. We all have different opinions and when people are silenced, then we lose our freedom of life.

    Thank you for standing your ground!

  74. Memories, both good and bad stay with us no matter what we want. The memories associated with the symbol in your quilts is now, probably forever, etched in our memories as bad. I don't personally think it will ever be reclaimed. Due to the current group as using the symbol, our history books recounting the atrocities associated with it, plus the fact that anyone who displays something with this symbol on it is looked at by our government and put on a'watch list' , I would whole heartedly urge you to put them away and never display them again. It is so unfortunate one group has to ruin something good. But it has happened with other things as well. Personally I have very strong feelings regarding the symbol on your quilts with Jewish heritage of my hubby. Nothing like that would ever be considered coming into our home and I would be extremely uncomfortable being in or around a quilt like this. The feelings are still just too raw to consider offending anyone. As quilters we, for the most part, are sensitive to others' feelings. I would not risk hurting one of my friends by displaying something that carries such negative vibes. We are all your friends, Bonnie. That being said, please don't risk hurting someone that is still vulnerable. They say time heals wounds,but in this instance time has only festered wounds that are so deep they may never be healed. Seeing these is a stark reminder of a horrible time in history, that is now repeating itself. No, we don't need to see these to tear the scabs off the wounds of such precious people, God's Chosen.

  75. Oh---Kay--- first of all, I've read every comment, scrolled back and studied the quilt,,,both are quilted with your favorite fans, so that helps answer a bit of the question why you display them,,,the quilt on the right is technically not a swastika, and the colors are WONDERFUL,,,but the one on the left does surprise me hanging on your wall. I've been reading your blog for YEARS, and I know you're not racist, mean, and you're not the type to "get off" on shocking people!! I know you have some FABULOUS quilts that we all envy, so to choose this one to display proudly in your home, regardless of the feelings of others does seem a little surprising. You're a teacher at heart, so maybe that is an opportunity to teach your visitors about a design (albeit an offensive design) but surely you are not an offensive "in your face" type of person. No one reading your blogs can ever accuse you of being offensive!!! This is the question YOU have to answer for yourself,,,Am I unknowingly offending people whom I welcome into my home? Or am I knowingly opening a dialog about history?

  76. Kathy Roe9:31 AM EDT

    By all means save the treasured quilts,Bonnie. But put them under the mattress for another generation.
    I love you.
    Kathy Roe

  77. Pat in Louisiana, USA5:47 PM EDT

    I agree they are to be treasured for the very reasons you mention. Unfortunately the emotional response cannot be "controlled" by some. It is a part of them they brought through with their very survival. I think it is still too soon to use them in public areas of your home, but private areas are different. You know the people who might see them their and know their feelings. It also seems that we need to somehow be able to make people aware of the older history of these quilts. Pat in Louisiana, USA


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