|Grace Deering Ship Quilt by Carol Godreau: A Quilt with Family Connections
Patricia L. Cummings
When presented with a challenge by her quilting club to make an "art quilt," Connecticut resident Carol Godreau had to look
no further for inspiration than her own family's history. No stranger to "outline stitch embroidery," she aptly put both her
embroidery and her quilting skills to work to make a wall quilt that features a ship.
Ship Quilt, the "Grace Deering," an original design by Carol Godreau
The "Grace Deering" Ship Built in 1874
With only six months to complete the quilt, Carol Godreau decided to make a replica of the "Grace Deering" ship whose
captain was Sumner Drinkwater, her great-great uncle. No picture of the ship exists except for an oil painting that his
daughter had sold to a hotel. As luck would have it, the Maine Maritime Museum allowed Carol to use one black and white
photo negative that they had in their collection so that she could use it as a basis for creating the quilt shown above.
Photo Transfers tell the story of this quilt on the quilt's reverse side
On the back of the quilt, the quilter has placed photo transfers of shipping logs, the captain's gravestone, and other
information about the ship from the time it was built until its demise.
At Maine Quilts 2007, the quilt show set up each year by the Pine Tree Quilt Guild (a statewide organization), Carol's lovely
tribute to the "captain" of this vessel was on display. The quilt is sure to become a family heirloom. Congratulations to Carol
Godreau for again making history come alive in a meaningful way!
Carol Godreau and the beautiful Redwork quilt she made are featured in a chapter of the book Redwork Embroidery and
Needlework Traditions in Europe and America: A Look Back, A Look Ahead (Concord, NH: Quilter's Muse Publications),
This book is now available on CD-ROM as an e-book that can be played on any computer.
Copyright July 2007. Patricia Cummings, Quilter's Muse Publications, Concord, NH. All rights reserved.