Monday, May 28, 2007

A Republican Quilt?

Yes. It's a Republican Quilt.

(Before I begin this story, let me stress that this blog is not meant to endorse any political party or's just a story.)

The quilt I call the Republican Quilt is the quilt that is on display at the Nixon Presidential Library and museum in Yorba Linda, California. It was on the bed where Pres. Nixon was born in 1913. He was born in Yorba Linda...the town where I have lived since I was 7. There at the birthplace house, located on the grounds of his Presidential Library, you can see the quilt. It was a family heirloom that was actually a wedding gift to his parents. It was made in the late 1800's by Quakers. On it you can see tiny little signatures of the people who gave them this Friendship quilt. (Note: if you're ever visiting Disneyland, the Nixon Library is only about 15 miles really should make the trip and go see it.)

About this Republican Quilt...I have made 3 replicas of it.

The first one I made in 1996. I was a tour guide at the Nixon Library and it was the 25th wedding anniversary celebration of Tricia Nixon Cox and her husband Edward Cox. I got this great idea that all the volunteers there should give a replica of the quilt to the Cox's. It took me months to make it. I quilted it by hand. Over 150 signatures of the volunteers were printed on it. I was given the opportunity of presenting it to the Cox's at the anniversary celebration. Such an honor. (There was even a little blurb about it in Quilters Newsletter Magazine in 1996.)

The second one I made for Julie Nixon Eisenhower in 1997. I really like her. A very warm and genuine individual. I presented it to her on a day she was there at the museum visiting. I machine quilted it on my domestic home machine. Why did I make her one? Just because I like her, I guess. And you can't give one to one sister and not the other too!

The third one I made for a Kennedy. William Kennedy Smith. Wait a minute, you ask! A Kennedy? Yes. If his name sounds familiar, just do a GoogleSearch on him and you'll say, "Oh yes, one of the many notorious Kennedy cousins!"

A few years ago a friend of mine (who is a friend of Smith's) commissioned me to make that Republican Quilt for him. She thought it would be so funny. A Republican Quilt for a Democrat! A Nixon quilt for a Kennedy!

This one didn't take nearly as long as the others. 'Third time's the charm' I guess. It went together so much faster. And by then I had a longarm, so the quilting took hardly any time at all.

Apparently William Kennedy Smith loved the quilt. He even took it with him during an extended stay in Washington DC. He stayed at the Watergate apartments. A Kennedy sleeping under a Nixon quilt at the Watergate apartments. How's that for irony?


Connie said...

What a wonderful post. And I remember which Kennedy he is. The machine quilting on that one is wonderful. What a generous heart you have. And they're all beautiful.

Vicki W said...

That's a great story! And it's a really nice quilt too.

Patti said...


CalicoRose said...

A lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

Kathy Wheeler said...

Regardless of our political affiliations, I have great admiration for those who serve their country so faithfully. I read Rose Kennedy's biography. How can you not love a family who tries to do good for so many. What a great opportunity to honor them with a quilt. Bravo! You are an unsung hero.

Karen E. Overton said...

All three are beautiful quilts. It's interesting to see how your quilting (stitching) style has changed through the years! I met Julie Nixon Eisenhower when I was in 7th grade as she came to our new school to dedicate it, Eisenhower High in Houston. Small world!

MARCIE said...

Really a great story! You sure get around!