This is the only picture I have of Girlie, although I know there is another over at Marie's place, taken with her cousin, also Charlotte.
This picture was taken well before I knew Girlie. By the time I married Bernie, she was somewhat confined to her little cottage, where she lived alone. We visited her regularly, and she "held court" from her tall bed which was placed in her loungeroom, partly tucked behind an old pianola.
Girlie had suffered some major tragedies in her life. Her lovely old home, Ivy House, had burned to the ground. And she had lost her leg in a horseriding accident. But this had done nothing to lessen her good humour and feistiness.
Girlie never came to terms with her artificial leg. My daughter recalls a day when she was a small child, going to Girlie's house with her grandmother, who was Girlie's sister. They were doing a bit of housekeeping and tidying up. They moved the artificial leg from one spot to another, and out jumped a rat!!!
Girlie preferred to sit up on her bed, with all her useful possession tucked around her in plastic carrier bags. When I look into my sewing room, or in corners of our bedroom, I wonder if Bernie isn't a bit afraid that I am growing a bit like his eccentric aunt, with bits and pieces tucked into bags everywhere.
I never saw Girle off that bed, except for a couple of times when she had a short spell in hospital. But my sister went to visit her once, and she climbed down to get a jar of guava jelly for her from under the bed. Actually her cottage was a bit like a "clearing house". It was a family tradition. My mother-in-law was the same! People would bring gifts of produce and preserves, and much of it would leave with the next visitor. Girlie really made you feel special, and would tell you that you were the only visitors she had received in over a week - even though you had passed someone coming out of her door when you arrived!
Now the point of this story is Girlie's quilt.
I told you Girlie was eccentric. When she died, her will stated that her property and money were to be divided among all her nieces and nephews, her great-nieces and nephews, and any that were to be born in the next 21 years! There were over 80 heirs! And she did not want the land to be sold to facilitate the arrangements. What a legal nightmare! I bet she was having a chuckle in heaven. You see, she loved family, and she also loved her island, and she wanted us all to keep our roots here.
I have enjoyed having the quilt here, and I am so glad that Elaine found it under a pile of stuff on that auction day, because I did not expect ever to see it again. Those random pieces of fabric, joined with those crude but strong stitches, are a real family treasure, and I am so glad to know that Elaine and her family will value and preserve it.