The woman who created this quilt, Miriam Ruth (Icenogle) Riggins, must have loved birds because she painstakingly cross stitched 48 of them into this beautiful queen sized art piece! We haven’t ascertained which states are missing, but a blanket this size only has 48 squares, and Hawaii and Alaska are represented, each state with its corresponding bird.
Miriam Ruth’s family has donated this raffle item to help Frontera’s Spring Fundraiser and our mission to sustain our preserve and embark on a project of community programs. Raffle entrants may purchase as many tickets as desired at $1 each for the drawing to be held at Frontera on Sat. April 17…the day of the FRONTERA BIRDATHON 2010!
A little history about our quiltmaker… provided by her son, Robert Riggins – Weslaco.
My mother, Miriam Ruth (Icenogle) Riggins, was born on 19 March 1916 in Macomb, Illinois. Macomb is north of St. Louis and east of Peoria. She was one of seven children. Her father was a rural mail carrier for many years. The family eked out an existence during the Depression by growing and selling garden produce, and after a house fire, they built a new home from recycled lumber and straightened-out nails.
Education was important, however, and the children eventually went to Western Illinois Normal School (now Western Illinois University) near their home. Miriam earned her B.A., and she became a teacher in a proverbial one-room schoolhouse. She continued her education throughout her career, eventually earning her Master’s in History. She taught history for many years at Macomb High School, eventually retiring from there.
In 1942, she was married to Harold A. Riggins, just before he shipped out as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. In 1948, they had a son, Robert, then a second one, Dean, in 1950. Robert married in 1970 and relocated with his wife, Ruth Ann, to the Rio Grande Valley in 1975 to find teaching jobs, and they bought a home in Weslaco shortly after. Miriam and Harold had been Winter Texans for a number of years, eventually buying a house in San Benito to be near their son and grandchildren (Leah and Noah).
Miriam and Harold traveled extensively, both with their sons and in their retirement. Miriam had a number of hobbies over the years, including millinery, candlemaking, sewing, needlepoint, and collecting cut glass and china. She made many hooked rugs and a number of quilts, both patchwork and cross-stitch.
In 1999, Harold and Miriam sold their house in San Benito and moved to a cottage at John Knox Village in Weslaco. Harold passed away in 2007. Miriam still lives at the Health Center at John Knox.
We thank you Riggins Family for this kind and heartfelt donation and the support you offer Frontera in our Spring Fundraising Campaign.
Those wishing a chance to treasure this quilt in your own home may drop by and purchase a bundle of $1 tickets!! If you win this quilt and wish to have it shipped, Frontera will do so free of charge.