May 17, 2012

Caring and Commemoration: Two Modern Quilts from the Third Haven Friends Meeting

The Third Haven Friends Meeting is located in Easton, Maryland, and is blessed with a long and illustrious history.  Its original Meetinghouse rests on property purchased in 1682 and one of its builders was William Southeby, considered by some to be the first native-born American to write against slavery.  The first meeting of the Third Haven Friends in this structure took place in 1684.  The Meetinghouse was expanded in 1797 and, in 1880, a brick Meetinghouse was also built on the property for use during the cold winter months.

George Fox, the founder of the Religious Society of Friends, visited Maryland in 1673 and subsequently sent the Third Haven Friends Meeting a number of books that formed the basis of their library.  Their early meetings were attended by a number of notable Quakers including William Penn and John Woolman.

Third Haven Friends Meetinghouses, Easton, MD.  Photograph courtesy of
the Third Haven Friends Meeting.  For more information about this Meeting
visit their web site at http://thirdhaven.org.

Today, the Third Haven Friends Meeting has about 150 members who participate in Meeting for Worship and other activities.  Some of these members are quilters who have made two quilts for the Meeting that serve two very different purposes.

One of these quilts was made in 1996 by children of the Meeting's First Day School (Sunday School).  Called a "Caring Quilt" by its makers, this quilt is made up of 15 blocks created by the children who drew, for each block, something that made them happy.  The Caring Quilt is loaned to Friends who are ill or who have suffered a loss, to be with them when members of the Meeting cannot.


The Caring Quilt and the bag made to store and transport it, signed by members
of the Third Haven Friends.  Photographs courtesy of the Third Haven Friends Meeting.


The second quilt was made in 1984 as part of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the old Meetinghouse.  "The quilt is comprised of 25 needlework squares made by a total of twenty different needle workers, using a wide variety of stitches.  The squares depict such scenes as the white clapboard Meetinghouse, the "new" brick Meetinghouse (1880), the Common Room (a separate building for community activities), the carriage shed, a caretaker's cottage, the graveyard, a map of the Tred Avon River showing where the meeting house is located, an old-fashioned Quaker man and woman, a silhouette of a mother and her children, early settlers interacting with Native Americans, flowers, leaves and other natural items.  Taken together, they touch on many themes important in the long history of this Meeting community."  (Candace Shattuck)

Quilt commemorating the 300th anniversary of the old Third Haven Friends
Meetinghouse.  Photograph courtesy of the Third Haven Friends Meerting.

Detail of the silhouette block.  Photograph courtesy of the Third Haven
 Friends Meeting.

Detail of block showing the brick Meetinghouse.  Photograph courtesy of
the Third Haven Friends Meeting.

This commemorative quilt hangs in the Common Room of the Meeting complex where it is enjoyed by all.  The Meeting encourages visitors, who are always welcome, to view the quilt and the property.

Sources:

Personal email correspondence with Candace Shattuck, Clerk of the Third Haven Friends Meeting.


(c) Lynda Salter Chenoweth and Mary Holton Robare 2012








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