Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My Great-Grandmother's Quilts

A quilt, hand-made with love, is always a very special gift. It is an expression of love from the maker to the recipient. On a recent visit to see my mother, she gifted me with three very old quilts made by my great-grandmother and her sisters almost 100 years ago. I am so happy to have these treasured pieces of my family history.

I remember the first one fondly from my childhood. It came to be referred to in our house as 'the sick blanket' because we were always wrapped in this warm quilt on the chesterfield when we weren't feeling well, the same as it was with my mother when she was a child. It seemed like this quilt had magical powers because you really did start feeling better with it tucked all around you.

Small section of the crazy quilt

A lot of the fabrics are fragile and frayed now but the beauty of the workmanship still shines through. This 'crazy quilt' was made from scraps of material left over from other projects...dresses and blouses and trousers and coats. And look at the hand embroidery around each piece, perfectly lovely, even if some of the stitching has loosened over time.

Twin-size Dresden Plate Quilt

The next one, I remember having on my bed as a child. This Dresden Plate quilt is twin-size and makes me think about a field of colourful flowers. I love the randomness of a scrappy quilt while maintaining a degree of symmetry. I want to make one of these some day, in remembrance of my
great-grandmother who lovingly laboured over this one which was completely done by hand, no sewing machine used. The close, tight stitching is a wonder to behold.

The Insanity Quilt

The final quilt, I am calling 'the insanity quilt'. This one must have taken the ladies hours and days and weeks to complete! I can't even imagine cutting that many little triangles and piecing them together like this. It was an insane task to undertake! This queen size quilt, in spite of its' age, is still in wonderful condition, except for a couple of small stains, attesting to the love and care that has been bestowed upon it over the years. It is a cherished family heirloom. And yes, my friends, that is a quarter in the photograph below to help you appreciate the 'insanity' of this project.

Down the road, I will pass these treasures along to my granddaughter and hope that she will love and cherish them like I do.

1 comment:

  1. My grandmother started a Crazy Quilt too. I just have the top as it was never actually quilted. I'd get it done, but as you say, the old fabrics and stitches have become fragile with time. I don't dare wash the thing. I treasure it, but I'll never be able to use it.