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The Fabric of Dreams

Earl & Margie (Augspurger) Oswald were married December 23, 1934.

Before that day, Margie spent many loving hours choosing fabric, cutting shapes, trying out various arrangements and designs, and more hours painstakingly embroidering and hand-stitching, covering every seam with feather-stitching, cross-stitching, and other fancy stitches inspired by the task. When she was done, she had a honeymoon robe and nightdress that reflected her love and hope for the future with her new husband and the family they would have.

In the years between 1934 and 2018, the robe was lost and then found more than once - most recently by her daughter-in-law Pat Oswald.

When I hear this story of family keepsakes lost and found, I think of the Plainsman Museum (where, by the way, you can stop by and see this beautiful robe) and how carefully, painstakingly they care for and preserve the history of these objects. They aren't really objects, are they? They are stories. Stories of us, stories of the human experience, stories of life in the Great Plains.

This technique of quilting was a "craze" in the Victorian Era, made by women in the wealthy classes who had the time and money for expensive fabrics.

But soon the fad inspired new "crazies", who collected scraps from their own wardrobe sewing, scraps that were endowed with memories, hopes and dreams of the events they were created for. Many of us still treasure our great-grandmother's apron, our mother's embroidered handkerchiefs, our grammie's vintage evening gown, our grampa's baby blanket. These are glimpses into the lives of the women and men without whom we would not be.

So thank you to Jim and Pat Oswald for donating this robe to the Plainsman Museum, where it is displayed and available for their family and community, for travelers and historians and school children, to tell it's story and keep us connected to the past that made us.

Earl and Margie Oswald, married 1934

Thank you Earl and Margie Oswald for getting married so Margie would be inspired to create this a wonderful memory that tells a story for their family.

This robe and nearly 40,000 other pieces of history at the museum create a Crazy Quilt with the fabric of our collective memory.

It's worth your time come by and take a look at who we are.

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