Saturday, June 09, 2012
On Friday, November 22, 1912, the Rouse Simmons, heavily laden with 3,000–5,000 Christmas trees filling its cargo hold and covering its deck, left the dock at Thompson, Michigan. Some eyewitnesses to the Rouse Simmons's departure claimed the ship looked like a floating forest. Schuenemann's departure, however, coincided with the beginnings of a tremendous winter storm on the lake that sent several other ships to the bottom, including the South Shore, Three Sisters, and Two Brothers.
Each year in early December, the final voyage of Captain Schuenemann and the Rouse Simmons is commemorated by the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, which makes the journey from northern Michigan to deliver a symbolic load of Christmas trees to Chicago's disadvantaged. Captain Schuenemann and the crew of the Rouse Simmons would be proud.
The Schuenmann family were members of St Pauls and we are having a festival in November commemorating the voyages of the Christmas Tree Ship and the centennial of its loss.
We had a similar festival in 2004 and I made this quilt for the event.
The committee has asked me to make a quilt again, and I have decided to make a more playful quilt this time, based on this little quilt I made years ago. My original quilt had the tree blocks about 4 by 4 1/2 before sashings. The new blocks will be 5 by 6 before sashings.
My mom had some beautiful solids in her stash that I claimed; I also have some nice Kona cottons. I will keep you posted on my progress.