Sometimes the quaintest treasures are right in our own backyards. On a recent afternoon when we were out antiquing, we found a delightful lunch spot in an old downtown building in small town USA.
As is our habit, we were eating after the crowded hour, in fact, we had the place to ourselves. It was open, inviting, very clean, and offered just the menu we were looking for; soups, sandwiches, salads.
Our waitress Vicki told us that the soup was almost gone, being in high demand on a such a cold day. There was less than a serving (by their standards) left of today’s special so they gave us a complimentary bowl. It was fabulous, as were our sandwiches. But before the food was served, I was captivated by the decor. There were quilts! An old log cabin quilt first caught my eye. It was hung above a beautiful dresser and its subtle colors and handwork stole my heart! A more modern medallion quilt was displayed in another corner, and yet another eyecatcher, a blue and white quilt, was used on a table.
I asked permission to take photos and shared my fascination with the old log cabin quilt. The conversation led to an old-home-week kind of reunion with people I’d never met. Jo, the owner, came out of the kitchen to share the quilt stories. The log cabin quilt came from her husband’s family. Her father-in-law had two aunts, Alice and Exor, who did a lot of needlework of all types. One or maybe both of these women worked on this piece of family history.
Jo is not a quilter, but has treasured the quilts these family members made and decorates her home and restaurant with them. Vicki has done needlework in the past, but quilting is not part of her experience (yet) though she has friends who sew and quilt.
In the course of the conversation, I learned that Jo’s husband, and his quilting aunts, were related to Ferrol Sams. Yes, the same Ferrol Sams whose novels and short stories are part of the great storytelling tradition of the South.
The sisterhood of experiences connecting us with needle and thread is never to be denied. Vicki told of her friend who makes bags, pillows, quilts, when she hears of a need. I recalled the women in the Peachtree City guild who were making tote bags and duffle bags for children in foster care to use. I never cease to be amazed at the generosity of women who sew.
I have a stack of muted red fabrics from the French General line that are waiting to be cut up and sewn back together. After seeing that old quilt in similar colors hanging in the Drugstore Deli, I’m thinking log cabin is a good plan.
Our outing that day was a mere 20 miles from home, in Byron, Ga. The Drugstore Deli is in corner building near the railroad tracks.