Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crazy 'bout Quilts

Having homemade quilts on hand was a given. Both my grandmothers quilted. They quilted mostly "scrap" quilts. In other words, people would bring them sacks of leftover sewing scraps. They would coordinate colors and make them work. Since they were scrap quilts, they didn't have a pattern necessarily. They used "all" the scraps, so each piece could be a long triangle, a small square, a thin strip, or whatever appealed to 'em. If there were quilting rules to be followed, they threw them away.

One of my early memories of my maternal grandmother, was spending the night in the bedroom off the kitchen. Since the house didn't have forced heating, she only heated the main gathering room during the day. So at night I was drowning in a heavy load of quilts, but I did stay toasty warm. Embarassed to admit it, but I wet the bed that night. My maternal grandmother made each of her grandchildren a quilt by the time they were grown. She hardly ever sat down without a needle in her hands. I treasure my special quilt, it sits in my entry foyer. I wouldn't sell that precious quilt for love nor money! Each quilt was different, mine happens to be made with fair colors: peaches and light blues. Many in the family can point to a fabric and say they had a dress in that print.

For my paternal grandmother, if I had to pick something to go on her tombstone, it would probably be a quilt. All my paternal aunts carried on the tradition and love to quilt as well. In fact, my Aunt Florence has made me two quilts. I plan to give one to each of my granddaughters when they're old enough to appreciate and care for it. This particular aunt I mentioned makes a quilt each year to raise money for foreign missions, it is auctioned off to the highest bidder.

My mother didn't have quite the same passion for the art of quilting. She started many quilts, in fact, there are many quilt tops in storage, but she never finished any to my knowledge.
As for me, I admire the workmanship, artist quality, and handcraft skill. But, I don't care much for sewing. Who knows, in my old age I might take it up, but by then my eyesight probably would be so bad I wouldn't be able to thread a needle! Oh well, I guess I'll still be warm under my stack of quilts.

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