Virgie Betts article from h.o.m.e. Newsletter 'This Time' in 2003
One of the most popular
line of quilts ever produced by h.o.m.e. is the
Virgie Betts, Quilt-Maker Extraordinaire:
My name is Virgie Betts and I live here
in Bucksport.. I became interested in quilting with a little girl
friend in Hulls Cove years ago. Years and years ago. I think I was
between 11 and 12. Three of us girls got together and went to one
another's house and we tackled a quilt block. It didn't last long,
you know But as I got older and when I first got married, I decided
to make one. It was a very simple colorful thing, windmill pattern,
which is one of the easier ones and I did finish that.
Virgie with Crazy-Patch Quilt
Virgie with Chloe
FALL 2009 'THIS TIME'
Crazy For Quilting
Virgie Betts was one of the early
leaders and workers at the H.O.M.E. Co-op. In the 1970's she was the
head of the Stitchery Department.
"We were busy all the time," she said, on a recent visit to Stitchery. "We made fashions for boutiques in New York City."
Virgie is still known around H.O.M.E. for her distinctive satin crazy with hand embroidery decoration.
"As a young girl, I got the idea for crazy quilts with satin and embroidery," she recalled.
"There was a lady I'd see around town, in a wheelchair, and whenever I saw her she'd have one on her lap. I wanted to make one like that.
But I thought I'd never have the patience. Well, I learned patience!
"My Aunt taught
me embroidery when I was very young. I still hate to throw away any
pretty little pieces of fabric, so I always have lots of them on hand.
I've made seventeen of the crazy patch quilts."
Virgie Betts, finishing a queen-size quilt in Stitchery, \
September 9, 2009.
The pattern is Log Cabin, Straight Furrow,
in red and black. "
This is the last big quilt of my career, " she said.
It's for my granddaughter.
Karen Saum and her purple satin crazy quilt made by Virgie.
Karen is filming Virgie and her quilts for a friend in Panama,
who belongs to a group there.
Virgie designed her own grave stone!
Dedicated to my Grandmother, Virgie Betts 12/22/21-12/18/17
She had sewn her first quilt at the age of 13 she perfected this gift her quilts were fit for a queen
Needles and thread fabrics and floss scraps from here and from there to save on the cost.
She learned to create every stitch known to all and crafted some of her own as her signature call
From simple to grand she gave every bit of herself to friends and to family very few for herself.
Her quilts covered many from near and from far across the US other countries possibly Mars.
Time stills for no one and as she carried on with her gift her hands became older achy and stiff
Into her 90s her hands would continue to sew first quilts for babies her pain did not show.
As her life became less her own and more dependent on people heartbroken and lost she finally lay down her needle.
The final quilt sewn, not by her but her Lord above comes in moods of four seasons for this woman so loved.
A white heavy blanket with varied tracks from the wild covers her warmly when winter’s cold has arrived.
In spring a modest blanket of blooming new growth is what He has chosen to provide her with warmth
Summer brings blooming of so many colors, He covers her sweetly with scents from the flowers.
As autumn slips in with brilliant colors on trees of reds and of yellows, some orange...less green.
As the air becomes cooler and this year’s life must now fade, He covers her bed with earth tones and more shade.
She had sewn her first quilt at the age of 13, From that time on her lovely quilts were fit for a queen
He blessed her in life with a personality so bold kindness for all and a huge heart of gold.
In the wake of her homecoming He blessed her once again with a four season quilt to cover her tired loving hands.
I loved you throughout this life and will in eternity too. It will be a glorious day when I’m reunited with you.
I love you Gram, until we all meet again share my love with my mother, my brother
and all other family and friends who are waiting there patiently for us to join you all in God’s glorious kingdom.
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