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Published: Sunday, 2/26/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Collect Call: We 'heart' rocks, quilts, pins and more

BY TAHREE LANE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Lynette Gergich decorated her home around this large quilt. Lynette Gergich decorated her home around this large quilt.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: Collect Call is a monthly feature about people who have collections. Let us know about yours and send photos if possible to tlane@theblade.com or call 419-724-6075.

Lynette Gergich fell in love one autumn day years ago at an auction in the Southwyck Mall. Her mother, realizing it was a desire worthy of nurture, facilitated the match.

Marilyn Proudfoot purchased the huge black-bordered quilt, splashed with color and meticulously sewn by Mennonite church women in Kidron, Ohio, and gave it to Lynette, who would build a house to fit the 92-inch-by-110-inch, black-eyed-susan-patterned wall hanging.

"It's my Picasso," says Ms. Gergich, who has decorated around it. She cleans it with a long lint roller on a pole, and shades it from intense summer sun to prevent fading. Its nine large panels each have a four-petaled flower.

PHOTO GALLERY: Gergich's Quilts, Glass, Cookie Cutters

The interior of the Ms. Gergich's Monclova Township home on a pond is a page from a magazine.

"I love black and I love bursts of color." The fourth-generation Toledoan has black hair and is wearing black glass frames, black nail polish, and black shoes. Furniture is black leather. Roman shades are black, trimmed in quilt colors. Providing pop in the black-and-white kitchen is a tulip-patterned quilt she purchased at Sauder Village.

Among her seven contemporary quilts, a pair of 24-inch squares hang in a hallway. Another hall displays a Holmes County quilt purchased for her by relatives. A small turquoise one she bought at a Perrysburg sale bears the stitched initials "JEG" on the back.

"I never get tired of looking at them."

The quilts, especially the big one from her mother, impart a sense of comfort.

"When I die, wrap me in it," she says. She's come to recognize the signature-like quality of an individual's hand stitches, visible on the top and called quilting. "It's almost like a fingerprint," she notes, pointing out small discrepancies in a curve of stitches that were probably made by one woman.

She also collects hand-blown contemporary glass, ruby-red and forest-green depression glass (the first purchased when she was 14), and has many cookie cutters made by her great-grandfather.

"I love to be surrounded by the people I love and the things I love."

Gingi Rothman wears a pin of a heart-shaped rock, a piece that combines two of the Maumee woman's collecting passions. Gingi Rothman wears a pin of a heart-shaped rock, a piece that combines two of the Maumee woman's collecting passions.
THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Rocky hearts

Compared to the softness of quilts, you could say Gingi Rothman's a little hard-hearted. Or, you might say she's got a lot of heart and totally rocks.

She loves walking the shoreline near the family's cottage on Lake Michigan at Harbor Springs and reaches down when interesting stones, especially heart-shaped ones, catch her eye. Some are tiny, others are the size of her palm.

"It's an addiction. I love walking on the beach," says Ms. Rothman, of Maumee.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rothman's Rocks, Pins

Waiting in a drive-through line at a fast-food joint one day, she spotted a heart stone in the gravel. Another was found by her son, Sam, on an Alaskan vacation. A friend gave her one that looks like a Cupid's arrow. A large one from another friend was used long ago, she suspects, as a pounding tool; it's rounded, smooth, and has two indents into which a thumb and a finger fit, making for a good grip.

She's filled three shadow boxes with dozens of her best finds, positioning them by sticking velcro on the backs of the rocks. Mostly asymmetrical, they're smooth, bumpy, white, gray, brown, pink, black with stripes, and speckled.

"Collecting is just fun," she says.

She's accrued scores of pins, not from retail shopping but garage-sale and antique-store finds, and passed on from family members. One's from a trip to the Lake Placid Olympics when she was in college, a small mask pin is from Venice, and another, from her stint working in the development office at the Toledo Museum of Art in 2001. She's also got a slew of holiday pins: snowmen, Santa, two lords-a-leaping, a toy soldier. They're easy to wear and get noticed in her job as a third and fourth-grade teacher at Maumee Valley Country Day School.

She also collects interesting little boxes, and she used to collect baskets until the four dozen she had displayed around the house "got to be too much."

Contact Tahree Lane at 419-724-6075 or tlane@theblade.com.



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