By Amanda Diedrick
A colourful quilted wall hanging featuring wild horses, candy-striped lighthouses, curly-tailed lizards and fourteen other iconic elements of Abaco history was recently auctioned off to benefit the Albert Lowe Museum. Though offers on the quilt were received from throughout the Bahamas and the U.S., Green Turtle Cay second homeowner, Linda Clews, was the winning bidder.
The Abaco Heritage Quilt, which took nearly three years to complete, was created by GTC second homeowners Elizabeth Allen (Rhode Island), Susan Bassendale (British Columbia), Ami Rutledge (Florida) and long-time cay resident, Mandy Roberts.
“In 2012,” explains Mandy, “Elizabeth Allen invited a few quilters on the island to lunch. She asked if we’d be interested in making a quilt to benefit a local charity.”
Having recently begun volunteering with the Albert Lowe Museum, Mandy knew it needed upgrading. “The museum’s admission fees don’t come close to covering its expenses,” she says. “Since Alton Lowe has personally carried the costs of the museum for close to four decades, I thought he might appreciate some community support. I suggested we make the quilt to benefit the museum.”
The group agreed and decided to create an Abaco-themed wall hanging, with each member contributing at least two twelve-inch blocks. Some aspect of Abaco life, past or present, would be represented in each block.
“These ladies have truly produced a work of art,” says Bahamian artist and Albert Lowe Museum founder, Alton Lowe. “The vibrant colours and intricate details are simply beautiful. And it’s wonderful for the museum to have the support of the community and our second homeowners.”
The auction of the Abaco Heritage Quilt is the first in a series of events being planned to commemorate the upcoming 40th anniversary of the opening of the Albert Lowe Museum.
Founded by Alton Lowe in November 1976 and named in honour of his father, a well-known model shipbuilder, the Albert Lowe Museum was the first historic museum established in the Bahamas. It houses a vast collection of antiques, rare artifacts, paintings, models, sculptures, photographs – and yes, even quilts – all telling the dramatic tales of the Loyalists, slaves and free people of colour who settled in the Bahamas after fleeing post-revolutionary America, and the Lucayan Indians who inhabited these islands prior to the 1492 arrival of Columbus.
Further celebratory events for the museum’s 40th anniversary will be announced shortly. In the meantime, for more information about the Albert Lowe Museum, call (242) 365-4094.