Getting to Know...

Getting to Know...

Barbara Tricarico

Three local women co-authored "Quilts of Virginia 1607-1899: The Birth of America Through the Eye of a Needle." Barbara Tricarico, one of the women who co-authored the book, also did the photography. She enjoys teaching and quilting and loved that she could combine two passions into one book. She is this week's People Profile.

What brought you to the community and how long have you been here? My husband and I moved to Vienna in 1985 when our children were 2 and 5. We knew it was a great community to raise our children and had heard the schools were wonderful (and they were!). We're all still here, 21 years later.

Family: Husband, William Tricarico; sons James Tricarico (26) and Vincent Tricarico (22), who is currently a student at Virginia Commonwealth University. Both are Marshall High School graduates.

Where did you get your education and in what areas? I have a B.A. in English from George Mason University and an M.A. in deaf education from Gallaudet University.

Current job/primary occupation? Part time sign language interpreter at Northern Virginia Community College; part-time customer services representative at United Airlines at Dulles.

What can people hope to discover by reading your book? I hope that people will discover that quilts were not only made for warmth, but for artistic beauty and as a creative outlet. Women also gathered in their sewing circles to share stories, mend broken hearts and comfort each other for the loss of a child or loved one. They still do that today. One of my favorite stories in the book is on page 100. Noted Virginians Jefferson Davis and Henry S. Foote actually fought a duel over their political differences. Yet their wives, along with the wife of Robert E. Lee, sat around a warm Virginia parlor and made a raffle quilt for charity together. Politics weren't discussed. We do the same thing in today's quilting bees. We are doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, housewives, men and women who share the love of quilting. It's a way to remove the stress in our daily lives by stitching scraps of fabric together in friendship.

Activities/interests/hobbies? Quilting and photography have always been my two hobbies. I often photograph friends' quilts for them (so they have a record of what they're giving away or to be able to send a slide to a contest or competition), so editing and photographing this book was a dream come true for me. It combined two of my favorite hobbies.

Favorite local restaurant or place in the community? Years ago, after our quilting bee (The "Night Owls") at the Vienna Library, we used to go to "Bob's Big Boy" when it was still on Maple Avenue (where the Outback now is). That was the icing on the cake after our quilting bee (or the "whipped cream on the strawberry pie" that they served). We miss it. As a "local" I honestly have tried all the restaurants in Vienna and love almost all of them. The Patrick Henry Library has been very generous in loaning us their space over the years.

What would you change about your community if you could? Dare I say the traffic? Otherwise I love Vienna.

What community "hidden treasure" do you think more people should know about? There is a lot of history right here in Vienna. Civil War battles were fought along the railroad tracks (very near the old red caboose off Mill and Old Dominion). The Freeman House was taken over by the troops during the Civil War. The first postmistress of Ayr Hill in Vienna, Margaret Willilams, was arrested as a spy for shaking out a tablecloth one night after dinner. (The troops thought she was signaling the enemy.) When she went to prison, not far from Vienna, she earned gold coins from the Yankees for sewing and darning their clothes. Yet she slept with a pocketknife under her pillow.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you "grew up?" I always wanted to be a teacher and a writer. I've always wanted to write a book.

What are some of your personal goals? To share not only the quilts of Virginia, but also some of the stories of the women who made them.