Saturday, March 6, 2021

Arnold Savage, an Old Friend


Arnold Hegy Savage (1926-2020)

I didn't realize until this week that we'd lost our old friend Arnold Savage just around Christmas time last year. We'd been writing each other for decades (he was an old-school letter writer.)

Christmas card 2010

Christmas was always important to him and he made dozens of hand-made collage cards to send each year.

House built in the 1840s

About ten years ago Karla Menaugh and I drove to visit him in his lovely little Ohio house. We had to go because for years Arnold had been sending me swatches of fabric he'd found in the attic of the  house, which had been in his family for generations. I had to see that attic.

Here at an American Quilt Study Group seminar he shows some of the things
he "found in the attic," as he used to tell me.
I have swatches of much of the fabric displayed here

The attic, the second story, was rather small as you can see from the photo. A guest room, really with
a lot of boxes under the beds.

He was quite the record keeper. Swatches usually arrived with
hand-written notes about which family member had worn the
print or used it in a quilt.

One way to thank him for his generosity was to create
a line of reproduction fabrics from his family prints.

Print and color names recalled his family and the neighborhood.
I think he seriously enjoyed this.

The document print

The reproductions from 2009.

Arnold was a real delight. I so loved hearing about his younger days. He was a championship figure skater, a professional cellist and he loved making quilts throughout his life.
"Arnold was an accomplished cellist, playing first chair for the Cleveland Philharmonic and fourth chair for the Cincinnati Symphony for over 20 years. Arnold was also an accomplished figure skater, competing until the 1980's when he turned 62. He was part of the famed US figure skating team in the 1950's and 1960's, and fortunately was not on the 1961 flight that killed all the US members travelling to the World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia. Arnold continued his passion for skating as a judge for state and regional competitions until the 1990's, and taught at Oberlin College in northern Ohio." From his obituary.
His quilts often used old fabric and blocks incorporated 
with new ideas.

I know he sent many other friends (and places like the Quilters Hall of Fame) swatches and letters about quilts and fabrics. He will be remembered with fondness and gratitude.

Read his obituary here:

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