The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Aunt Ruby's Quilts

By Sylvia Rummel © 1987

Issue: March, 1987

The crowd was pressed in around the big iron bed
Their faces expectant and taunt;
The auctioneer stood with his mike at the stead
While his helper spread out the next lot.

It was Aunt Ruby's quilts the reason they'd come
From as far as forty eight miles away.
A "Dresden Plate" pattern in rose madder and plum
On a background of silvery gray

Seemed to throb in the sunlight and dazzle the crowd;
The bidding shot off like a dart.
Her colors the neighbors once whispered were "loud"
Now lay as a life's work of art.

She stood in the kitchen making coffee and tea,
And scoffed when she heard one buyer
"Four hundred!  Why, gee, just where was he
That bad winter the barn caught on fire?"