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trending sent letters to his daughter, Wirchansky’s mother, as she traveled around the country from North Carolina to New York, California and back east to New York, where she met and married her husband. Wirchansky transferred the handwritten letters onto fabric along with stamps from the era, then stitched the fabric pieces into place, in the sky. “The most amazing quote from the letters was written during the Depression,” she says. “The Lord will provide. One time since you were here we got down to 10 cents in cash on hand but before night we had collected $20 on debts owing us. If you serve the Lord, you can depend on him.” This quilt has, like the letters that inspired it, traveled the country, winning many ribbons, in Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, California and Florida where it was named Best of Country-USA in the International World Quilt Competition in November 2012 in Palm Beach. When it was exhibited during the North Carolina Quilt Symposium Quilt Show in May 2014 at the Burney Center at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, it won Innovative, first place; Best of Show Other and Viewer’s Choice. “My grandfather’s mother,” Susie A. Pearsall, who married Kedar Bryan, who also lived just outside of Kenansville, “wrote a diary from 1869 to 1875. It’s in the UNCG library archives,” Wirchansky says. “I did a portrait quilt of her with some other pictures on it. And although it’s not as clearly visible, in the background I also copied excerpts from her diary into that.” Wirchansky’s family home is about one-half mile from the Pearsall gate and cemetery. Four generations of her grandparents are buried there. In the 2014 North Carolina show, her quilt, “The Pearsall Gate,” won Large Wall Hanging Mixed, first place. Through black cast iron bars we see the cardinal that signifies life and spring once more. 19 WBM Top: Once We Were Young, 46.5 inches by 42 inches, 2003. Left: Pearsall Gate: Entering Eternity, 45 inches by 47 inches, 2004.


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