Friday, March 09, 2012

The Stuff We Leave Behind

Deb Lacativa over at More Whiffs, Glimmers & Left Ouevres (check it out, by the way, she's doing some great stuff) left a comment on my last post, saying she had looked up Flo Corconi, the previous owner of my embroidery frame. This was something I hadn't thought of doing myself, and when I googled her name was surprised and impressed to find out that Flo was a major force in the quilting world on Vancouver Island. She founded the Parksville Quilt House Quilter's Guild, basing it out of a converted garage on her property, and taught many Island women to quilt. This article describes how Flo started the guild and her talents as a teacher:
As they were put through their paces, Flo instilled in each aspiring quilter the necessity of straight lines of stitching and a minimum of eight, closely spaced stitches to the inch. No large looping stitches but small, tight ones that resembled a carefully lain, almost invisible line. Later, appliqué was added and the squares took on a life of their own - vibrant and full of explosive expression.
She was honoured as a Life Member of the Guild when she retired and moved to Victoria. She passed away in 2009, and here's her obit:
CONCONI, Florence Gudridur Marcella (Flo) Born in Leslie Sask., Oct 23, 1918 passed away Jan. 30, 2009. Predeceased by her husband Fred in 1979. She is lovingly remembered by her children Bill (Ellie), Arlene (Brenden), Bob (Diane), and Dave (Linda), 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren, her sister Violet, and many nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews. After moving to Victoria in 1945, Flo and Fred farmed in Central Saanich until 1960 and then moved to Parksville in 1968 . Flo was an intelligent, multi-talented woman with many interests. She enjoyed such things as rock collecting and polishing, woodworking, pottery, sewing, square dancing and music. Many will remember her for her skill and love of quilting. On moving to Parksville she taught quilting out of her Quilt House in the back yard and this grew into the founding of the Parksville Quilt House Quilters Guild in 1979, which has grown to a membership of over 300. She continued to enjoy and attend a quilting afternoon with a few ladies until a few months before her death. A reception for family and friends to celebrate her life is to be held March 7, at the family home 2460 Tanner Road, from 1100 to 1500, when all her family can be together. A donation in her memory may be made to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Palliative Care Unit through the Saanich Peninsula Hospital Foundation 525939 Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 2/10/2009 - 2/11/2009
A picture of Flo can be found in the Guild newsletter. Scroll down a bit and you will find her on page 10. She sounds like a lovely person. I don't know how her hoop ended up in the thrift shop, but I feel quite honoured to be the one who now owns it. I can imagine her spirit hovering over and reminding me to keep my stitches small and even. And it makes me think that labeling our tools and equipment has a value beyond asserting ownership - it could possibly link us to future generations.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:02 AM

    Lovely, elliptical post. Think of all the connections involved in the piece your working on now. There's Flo's embroidery hoop, which found it's way to you, at exactly the right time you needed it, and there are those beautiful drawings of Canadian fauna hundreds of years old, finding new life in your hands. Seems like you are working on a piece that is partly about time. I wonder what will happen next.

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  2. I know it might sound a little flighty but the tools we use are an important part of our craft. (whatever it is) I have tools from 30 years ago that I have carefully chosen. I wonder if your quilting frame find is a combination of serendipity (right place, right time) and that it was meant to go to someone who would treasure and use it for a good project.

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  3. thanks Heather...I'm having fun with fiber again.

    After posting that comment I went into the studio and printed my name on the inside all my hoops. On the pair my grandmother gave me I put her name, a tiny arrow, then my name.

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  4. Vanessa Thorson11:14 AM

    Love the project and this post - of course Flo was from Saskatchewan!!

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  5. onesmallstitch11:18 AM

    beautiful post, Heather. I'm sure Flo is watching over your shoulder and her hoop couldn't have found a better home - you will put it to wonderful use, will be watching to see the results.

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