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Sew Noted 1.15.2020

By Staff | Jan 15, 2020

A purveyor of movie theatres I am not. On my fingers I could likely count the number of visits during my lifetime. Usually years go by yet an abrupt difference occurred during the waning days of 2019.

Last fall a family member treated me to the initial showing of ‘Downton Abby’ hosted by the local PBS station at Montage Mountain. Prior to that, it had been years since attending the two showings of ‘Alvira,’ a local documentary.

My record was blown after a television trailer caught my attention resulting in my traveling to view ‘Little Women.’ Viewed three times in six days, it was indeed a Great Escape to a bygone era.

I’d read the novel decades ago, long forgetting details of the lives and loves of four sisters from a book of the same name. Each girl possessed their personal abilities and characteristics including a musician, painter, and teacher, with the heroine of the tale becoming a writer.

No way had I envisioned attending several showings but due to the movie’s fast pace jumping from one time period to another, it caused me to miss parts of the story line. Also, enough seconds were not given to another entirely unanticipated delight, the scene settings.

Early in the production, two quilts evidenced women’s work from the late 1860s. Hanging perpendicular, both appeared to be made of wool in patterns known as ‘Crazy Quilts.’ Later the camera zoomed in on a bedridden sister having scarlet fever. She was covered with a quilt consisting of green-pieced triangles forming baskets laid on point and accented by a very wide pink sashing. Scrap quilts were on one of several beds occupying the single room. One served as a covering while the other lay folded across the foot section.

A different person accompanied me to each showing; all remain unaware of my many trips. In conversations following the flick, each shared which parts of the movie appealed to them.

The first recalled the novel being on her mother’s bookshelf, but like myself retained little from the story. As we left, my charismatic friend conversed with a patron as we suggested penning our stories. (Often a tip I suggest to all).

My second companion, an antique buff, was enamored with the Victorian style furniture having tufted coverings highlighted with heavily carved dark wood. “I would like to visit the house on the estate near the sister’s home,” my companion noted. There, in addition to a room dedicated entirely to music, a long wooden stairway descends to an ornate carved poster at floor level. Both the foresaid individuals with me are vocalists and pianists.

The final visit came on New Year’s Day with my grandson who is a published writer in his own right. Oft I refer to him as ‘An old soul in a young man’s body.’ We both have a love for history and although the movie is listed as fiction, the setting was from a time period of our liking.

As each of the four of us was enamored with heartfelt stories set in times gone by, I’m reminded of a saying often quoted by my late mother, also a quilter born in 1910. “The good old days were only good to those who didn’t live through them.”

Mothers are usually right-today’s world lack the challenges from those times of yore. Unless a carriage was provided by others, the ‘Little Women’ walked everywhere they went. And too, imagine wearing several layers of clothing including corsets and pantaloons covering one’s body. An entire day must have been consumed with laundry not to mention ironing ruffles and the 20 yards of fabric required for billowing dresses.

The women’s work of making mostly utilitarian quilts was constructed with needles, scissors, and not much else. How fortunate we are today to have mechanized machines and all the accompanying doo-dads.

Ah, but it was good to visit the ‘Little Women,’ if only for a couple hours-times three.