After my parents died, I put off sorting through all their old photos that were in boxes in my basement. Last year I finally went through the boxes and found some amazing things that I didn’t expect, including a couple journals that my mother kept when she was a girl. Here are two pages from her 1937 journal, written when she was 14 years old (I’ve included a typed transcript below each entry since I could never read my mother’s handwriting).
Sunday, July 4, 1937 (185th Day—180 Days to Follow)
Shot fireworks all day long. Had one swell time. Following were at picnic at lake: momma, daddy, Esther, Carl, Lill S, Gladys, Alvin, Lilly H, Dolores, Aunts Lue, Lena, Anna, Minnie’s M. and W., Uncles Otto and Fred, Aunt Carie of Libertyville, Walter, Laura Hinty and Dick, Willard and Armela also. Laura and Dickee are staying over till tomorrow. When it was dark we shot off a lot of fireworks which we had a lot of. Got ice cream after all was done.
Monday, July 5, 1937 (186th Day—179 Days to Follow)
Laura went home today but Dick is going to stay till Saturday. After supper went to Crystal Lake to see the fireworks display. There also was a carnival there. Dick, Dolores, and I went on a lot of rides at the carnival. The fireworks were swell. Everyone says they were the best they had ever seen. For the finale there were 50 rockets in air at once. Got to bed at 1:00 o’clock A.M.
These journal entries were the inspiration for my latest donation quilt for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative — Fireworks.
I had fun playing with metallic threads to try to capture the sparkle of fireworks. I haven’t used metallic threads very much, and I learned a few things with this quilt. I used two different types of thread–a flat glitter hologram thread (such as the gold on the right side), and a metallic thread (such as the blue on the right). Both of these threads are from Superior Threads. Superior recommends using a size 90 topstitch needle for both threads, but I found that a smaller size 80 topstitch needle worked best for the flat glitter thread, and a larger size 100 topstitch worked best for the metallic thread. I had no trouble quilting with the metallic thread, but I found that the flat glitter thread behaved much better when not stitching over other threads. I ran into a lot of thread breakage when I tried to stitch the flat glitter thread over the metallic thread. When using these types of specialty threads, I found that a bit of patience and experimentation leads to better results.
You can look up at the stars and every night they’re going to be in the same place, but you can launch a six inch shell and you don’t really know what it’s going to look like until it actually performs.
Fireworks are an art form that uses the night sky as the canvas.