Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Voices From the Quilts

Thursday, I took a momentous step . . .  
I took my first quilting stitches

And although they are not perfect,
I felt that I would leave them
for when I finish the quilt
I can look back on these first stitches
And see how far I've come.

I'm not an avid quilter --
I'm not even a quilter

I admire quilts
But I don't "collect" them
But I do have quilts

Family quilts

And each quilt has a voice . .  . 
A story to tell
Of a person and a time and a place!

From my maternal grandmother
"Grandma" -- the only grandmother I ever knew
And the only thing we slept under when we were at her house
Were her "comforts" as she called them
And not one comfort but two or three!
The original "weighted blanket"!
This one is stitched on the machine.    In a straight line.    From edge to edge
It's a bit threadbare but it's still treasured.
Because it is threadbare -- the inside is an old wool blanket.
You use what you have -- you don't buy fabric to make a quilt nor do you buy batting to put inside a quilt!
She always called the pattern crazy quilt
because there was no rhyme nor reason to the pattern
You cut pieces and just fit them together!
Most of the ones she did she tied rather than machine stitched.
The pieces themselves, however, are all hand stitched.
(I could peek at a few of them).
I can imagine her sitting in her chair in the living room stitching this quilt together.
It's old and faded
Because it's been used and washed and used and washed some more.
Regardless of it's condition, I cherish it!

The pattern name is six pointed star
I would assume like her other quilts, it is handpieced
But I can't check!
The fabric is gay 30s fabrics
With a now ecru background and backing
And hand tied . . . as most of her quilts were!

My other grandmother
The one I didn't know
(for she passed away when I was a few months old --
a picture, however, I treasure is that of my grandmother holding me!)
The pattern name is Wedding Ring
It was given to me by my cousin Ann
And she pointed out various dresses of hers that make up the quilt
She said that grandmother hand pieced it
The quilting, however, is machine
But it's lovely quilting!

My Mother's Quilt
Alas, not made by my mother
She was not a quilter
Although she did try when I was a girl
For in a drawer in the spare room
Were many quilt blocks
in the flower garden pattern
They made great playthings
Blankets for dolls and who knows what else I repurposed those quilt blocks for
Pitched, I assume, at some time
This pattern is Goose Tracks
She bought it at a local craft show
Because she wanted a quilt.
And it is hand quilted!!!

Following in my mother's, rather than my grandma's footsteps
my quilt
I bought it!
It's hand quilted
And I found it after I had fell in love with friend Nancy's 
Civil War Bride Quilt
It's all appliqué and hand quilted
It's lovely
(but not as lovely as Nancy's -- I still covet that!)
The pattern (not the quilt) dates from the Civil War
And I guess it was quite a popular pattern several years ago

I don't normally just buy quilts
But this was at an estate sale here in town
(actually, she had lots of lovely quilts)
But this one spoke to me
It's a variation of Sunbonnet Sue
(And I've not a clue as to age)
But it is hand quilted!
I simple adore it
And I wish I had another spare bedroom
For the grands --
Wouldn't this be lovely on an antique mahogany twin bed
with crisp white pillowcases?

And although I just took my first quilting stitches
I have made quilts
in fact!

Simple six inch squares, sewn together
For the grands
To sleep under when they visit
And as homage to my grandmother, they're tied rather than quilted
Big Girl Lucy's is on the bottom - she calls it her polka dot blanket
While Little Sister Piper's is the pink one on the top
polka dot as well!
They insist that these blankets be on their beds when they come to visit.

And the quilt that those first few stitches are on?

It's a family quilt, too
Hand pieced by my grandmother
In the 30s
Or so my knowledgable quilter friends tell me
That the fabrics are definitely 30s fabrics
The pattern is Buckwheat
And the fabrics are still vibrant
Because it's been stored for 80 plus years, I am sure

Not only will it be a labor of love
But it definitely will be a family quilt
Not just our family but Daughter Sarah's husband's family, too
For the quilt hoop belonged to his great aunt
And was given to me by his Aunt Jo
so I could quilt my grandmother's quilt

How neat is that!

In a year or two or three . . . 
I'll show my finished quilt
A treasured quilt
A family quilt


Sandra said...

I love your family quilts. Each one is so special and a true treasure. You are blessed with having so many family heirlooms. I am a quilt maker myself. I love to hand quilt; just love the look of an old-fashioned quilt. I only received one quilt top from my husbands side of the family. I have turned that quilt top into a quilt; and it will be passed down to one of my son's someday. I have just finished hand quilting a quilt for my DIL. It was a quilt top that she received from her great grandmother. This summer they will visit us and I will present the quilt to them and they will take it to their home. Hand quilting takes time; even for me when I have been quilting for many years. I wish you luck with your quilting. Take your time and enjoy the process. I truly enjoyed reading your post this evening. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

Such beautiful family heirlooms! I don't have the patience to quilt, but I do love them.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

Your grandmother's quilt is very similar to one from my grandmother, with fabric from the 40s, mostly, and the 30s.