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Here's a new topic for discussion. Do you have a quilt, crocheted afghan, blanket of any kind that some member of your family made for you when you were a pipsqueak? Is it still around and available for a photo and discussion?
I have a quilt ladder that DH made some years ago that displays some "oldies but goodies" and I periodically take the old quilts off and rearrange them, just to shake the dust off. I got the idea to share the quilt my mother's mother made just before I was born in 1941 before they knew I was going to be a girl. Color scheme was white, yellow and pale blue and pattern was the Lemoyne Star. It is all hand pieced and hand quilted.
It's rectangular and draped over our living room couch so you can see the obvious "wrong color" fabric that Cecil Miller put in one corner; this of course shows one of her superstitions was to put in an obvious error.
Second and third photos might give you an idea of the fine hand stitching in this quilt. Cecil (b. 1888) had dropped out of school after the third grade and had gone to work in a glove factory where she did embroidery work on the backs of ladies' gloves. She was always proud of her needle skills. She had to go to work to help support the family and when I learned about this I was shocked; I never complained about my homework after my mother told me that story.
Your question is timely, because I am in the middle of repairing an old quilt my Grandma made, which I dragged around and used for many years, before I realized I should have taken better care of it. (She made all 18 of her grandchildren and a few of her great-grandchildren quilts. The reason I am doing this just now (when I should be working on other things - hah!) is that I am preparing to make a presentation at the September HBAT* meeting, so I am only doing HALF of the quilt right now, so I can show them the before and after. I am basting a strip of fabric right down the middle of the top, and will only do one of the halves. I thought that would be good way of showing them how a very worn out and damaged quilt could be improved and still be used - but gently after it's repaired. I have not taken any "before" photos yet, but I will take some, and then a few more as I do various things to it. It really is bad - the batting is in clumps, the back fabric is so thin you can see through it, and the binding is almost worn away. I really will have to take out all of the hand quilting and the clumpy batting before I can even begin to mend and patch the front, add batting, and add new binding. I am not concerned about taking out the hand-quilting, because my Grandma just made "utility" quilts - nowhere near the fine stitching as you have in your heirloom quilt.
Then I have another quilt made by my OTHER Grandma (I THINK.) Anyway, it came from her house, and it's a Double Wedding Ring quilt in almost perfect condition, because it was put away and hardly ever used. And THAT Grandma made very few quilts during her life. I have tentatively decided to call my presentation "A Tale of Two Grandmas," and show them both quilts for contrast. I don't really have to get all of the work done on the half I am working on - but just be able to show them my plan, show them what I started out with, do a few different kinds of repairs, and give them some good ideas. I have a handout with a LOT of information on cleaning, repairing and restoring old quilts to go with it. (Not museum-quality quilts, of course.) (We only have about 45 minutes to give our presentations, so being prepared is the key.) I'll post before, during and after photos later.
Now you know what I will be doing the next 2 weekends.
*HBAT = Hanging By A Thread - the name of my local non-guild quilting group.
Now that's a really cool project, Jonna.
Post your photos here, pretty please with sugar on it.
My quilt made by my grandma stayed looking pretty good because my mom mostly kept it from me once I started walking around and dragging it. It was used only when I was sick as a "get well quilt"; she told me that this special quilt from my grandma would make me get better faster so I only allowed to use it when I was in bed with a fever, etc.
And heaven forbid I should throw up on it.
It did soak up tears pretty good and it was soft for rubbing my snotty nose. (Not treated as an heirloom, I guess. )
I grew up with a heavy quilt on my single bed! It was made of left over corduroy from clothing. It is a simple 9 patch, just tied. but it was effective at keeping me warm all those years. I am glad to still have it!
My other grandmother had quilts like those on the beds upstairs in their Indiana farmhouse. I loved those quilts very much and would "study" the kinds of fabrics (probably feedsacks now that I think back on them) when I slept up there during our annual visits. I remember the quilts having navy blue sashing, calico nine patches and red yarn ties.
I don't know what ever happened to those quilts; they were probably taken by my cousins when my widowed grandmother sold off the farm when I was in college or maybe they were sold during the auction of the farmhouse.
What a beautiful special quilt--full of lovely memories. I love how they pucker up. My one grandma was a lovely seamstress but never did quilt. My other grandma was 70 when I was born and I don't remember her doing anything but sitting in her chair and whining and complaining. My mom made beautiful quilts but she didn't start quilting until the 80's, so they are old, but not that old. Now, I wonder what will happen t them when I'm gone. I don't thin my boys are all that interested.
You should share this at our February Retreat. Mini class/presentation?
That quilt is such a treasure. I love the "error". I do not have any quilters in my family. My mother and grandmothers did knit. I remember learning to knit from my grandmother sitting on the front porch steps. My grandmother also tatted and crocheted. I did not learn either of those skills. I do have some tatted items. I also have a knitted afgan my Mom made. Mom also made 2 quilt tops. One was made in 1933 when she was 13. A neighbor lady gather some girls together and taught them some skills. I was given that top(a Sun Bonnet Sue) in 1993. I had never seen it before. The second top she made in the 1980's sitting in her chair next to my Dad while he watched TV. She had to have something to do. It was a grandmothers flower garden, pieced by hand out of....wait for it.....polyester double knits. It's what she had, My sister took that top and had it quilted. She doesn't sew. It is one heavy quilt.
Thanks for this post. It has brought back some great memories. I'll see if I can get my sister to send me a picture of the one she has(she is out of town) and take a picture of mine later. I have to get ready for an appointment now.