To Have and To Hold
68” x 80”
This quilt celebrates the splendor of matrimonial love. It has similarities to a marriage in that constructing it was a journey filled with great joy, daily struggles and ultimately great satisfaction in my accomplishments. Created in the fall of 2002, this quilt took 3 and 1/2 months to make, including 100 hours of refined free-motion machine quilting on my home sewing machine.
The fabrics I chose determined the theme of the piece. The subtle colors and gentle feel of the floral fabrics gave a romantic elegance to the original layout. I drew from what I knew about love and based my design on the courtship and 66-year marriage of my parents for inspiration. As a child, I often heard the stories of how they met at a dance at Springfield Corners. The first time her drove her home, he had four of his sisters in the backseat of the car. My parents fell in love in the early 1940’s and like so many other couples at the time, spent four years of their engagement separated by WW2.
Images representing their love story grace the composition. A yellow ribbon indicates my mother’s faithfulness in waiting for Dad’s safe return home from war. White birds are used in several places; one is delivering a love letter from so very far away. Their wedded life began at the tiny country church where the pledge to love one another always was exchanged. Rows of small quilted circles on the ivory sateen represent the buttons on mother’s wedding gown.
The name of this quilt, “To Have and To Hold”, is written in the bible. The quilted checkerboard background contrasts the soft curved edges of the appliquéd “lace”. A small cartouche with my initials is at the top of the border, another with the date is at the bottom.
This quilt was accomplished while I was a student and was my greatest designing challenge to date. I wanted the border to represent lace. I struggled many days to find the right materials and to invent the technique that manipulated fabrics to achieve the final result. When the quilt was finished, I told my aunt about how I faced a new design challenge each day. She said it was just like how we must work at a marriage to keep it progressing.
© Joanie Zeier Poole 2002 Photo by Norman Lenburg
Awards and Exhibits
2003 Minnesota Quilters Show, Best Machine Quilting
2003 International Quilt Festival, Honorable Mention
2003 American Quilter’s Society Show, Finalist
2004 Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, Best Workmanship
2004 National Quilting Assn., First Place Appliqué and Viewer’s Choice
2004 Quilting on the Waterfront, Second Place, Traditional
2004 A Quilter’s Gathering, Best of Show-Craftsmanship and Best Machine Quilting
2005 Road to California, Best Traditional Quilt
2005 Dallas Quilt Celebration, Second Place, Masters, Appliqué and Viewer’s Choice
2005 Quilter’s Heritage Celebration, Honorable Mention, and Viewer’s Choice
2005 Pacific International Quilt Festival, Finalist
2005 Treasures of Tomorrow, Second Place, Professional
2006 Home Machine Quilt Show, Third Place, Masters
2007 International Quilt Festival, Chicago, Traditional Treasures Invitational Exhibit
2007 Lowell Quilt Festival, Honorable Mention