Dedication of the Bowery Quilt

In Creativity, History, Quilts, Thoughts by Brenda3 Comments

Recently I finished a project. I didn’t document the progress, because I started it last year before I had my website up and running.

Last year on July 25th, I attended the Dedication of the Bowery at Greenville near the Garst Museum. The dedication coincided with the 200th anniversary of the signing of the second treaty of Greenville. Many representatives of Native American tribes that originally participated in the signing were present. It was a very moving ceremony.

Not being a history buff does not mean that I don’t appreciate history. I do. The one fact that struck me that day was Greenville was chosen for the signing of the peace treaty because no blood was shed on its soil. I appreciated knowing that as well as many other things shared that day.

They presented wampum belts to each tribe in attendance that day. I grew up thinking that “wampum” was an “Indian” word for money. But that day a deeper significance was shared. David Morris represented the Canadian Shawnee tribe. He received his belt, returned to the circle, and another gentleman from another tribe went to receive his. The next gentleman shared the story of the deep meaning the wampum belt held for their people. At that moment, I happened to look over to David and saw the deep emotion in his face. Tears stung and his face winced as he listened to the fellow recipient share the cherished meaning of this gift. At that moment all connected and I felt his emotion capsulized the deep purpose of that day and of the treaty signed 200 years before. I was blessed to capture a shot to preserve that moment. I wanted to use that image (and the others I took that day) to make a remembrance of that occasion.

I started to make an art quilt by taking that image, and adding some effects through Photoshop. After achieving the look I wanted, I printed the image onto fabric. (Fabric sheets can be purchased to go through your printer, or if you just apply your ironed fabric on to a full sheet sticker, it feeds through the printer nicely. Using Epson ink makes the color more permanent.) Next, I printed some of the other images on to silk organza. (This is available at sewing stores in 8.5X11 inch sheets, prepared to go through the printer.) The silk organza gave more of a ghostly image as it is transparent. It let the image of David Morris be more prominent in the piece with the other images echoing the surrounding events of the day.

Because of the transparency of the organza, I feel this quilt didn’t photograph as well, but it best viewed in person (sorry about that). I decided to present the quilt to Susan Gray, a woman that has given Darke County, Ohio a great treasure of her work concerning the history of this area. I offered the quilt to her to keep for her own personal remembrance, or to pass it along to David Morris, whichever she chose to do. I hope this will share the heart of the moment I felt that day with those whose hearts were so closely entwined with the meaning of the ceremony.

I am not proud of many ways the Native Americans were treated by our ancestors, but I was happy to be a part of an event that was representative of peace among men, regardless of their race.

I many times think that we go on vacation to learn about history, when we don’t know the history in our own back yard. This event was an example. I sat there and couldn’t understand why there weren’t more people in attendance. I encourage you, wherever you live, to visit your local museums and historical monuments at least once, so you know of the heritage of the place you call home, even if you’re not a history buff.

Lori Delk and I enjoyed the festivities together.


  1. Brenda,
    How creative and clever you are! The quilt says so much so beautifully!

  2. Yes, how right you are in your comments. Loved your love filled quilt that you so graciously gifted…

  3. Brenda,
    My goodness…how creative you are and kept it so well hidden for many years. Not only did you create the quilt, do research and then gift it. You are so amazing! The quilt is beautiful; would loved to have seen the “real thing”.

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