Lady Of The LakeBlock Number: 16
By Nora Worthen
Harriett Thomas and Bryan Harris are longtime boating enthusiasts, spending many summer week-ends on Lake James, trailering their 21’ bowrider to the coast or surrounding lakes or participating in other boating activities with fellow members of the Blue Ridge Power Squadron. Both are active in the Blue Ridge Power Squadron, a chapter of the United States Power Squadron, with Bryan being a 20+ year member and former instructor of boating safety classes.
Several years ago, Harriett and Bryan decided to upgrade the bowrider to a cruiser. Although they wanted a cruiser with a complete galley (kitchen) and full head (bathroom) and of course sleeping room, they also wanted one that could still be trailered to the coast or enjoyed at Lake James. So the search began, and in the spring of 2009, they found their “Lady of the Lake”, a 26’ cruiser that they have since enjoyed on Lake James and at the NC and Georgia coasts. A boat of this size is required to be registered with the US Coast Guard, it has to have a name affixed to its stern and since it is bad luck to change a boat’s name, it continues to sport its original given name “High Matenance” (no, it’s not misspelled – just a nautical play on words) – but it is truly the “Lady of the Lake”. Therefore, we chose this quilt block for the boat shed we built for winter storage.
The Lady of the Lake quilt block is an antique geometric quilt design dating back to the 1850s. It was reproduced in the Nancy Cabot quilt column in the Chicago Daily Tribune on June 17, 1933 saying that it celebrates Sir Walter Scott’s poem, LADY OF THE LAKE, first published in 1810.
LADY OF THE LAKE
by Sir Walter Scott
But scarce again his horn he wound,
When lo! forth starting at the sound,
From underneath an aged oak
That slanted from the islet rock,
A damsel guider of its way,
A little skiff shot to the bay,
That round the promontory steep
Led its deep line in graceful sweep,
Eddying, in almost viewless wave,
The weeping willow twig to rave,
And kiss, with whispering sound and slow,
The beach of pebbles bright as snow.
The boat had touched this silver strand
Just as the Hunter left his stand,
And stood concealed amid the brake,
To view this Lady of the Lake.
The maiden paused, as if again
She thought to catch the distant strain.
With head upraised, and look intent,
And eye and ear attentive bent,
And locks flung back, and lips apart,
Like monument of Grecian art,
In listening mood, she seemed to stand,
The guardian Naiad of the strand.