Fall 2017

Fall 2017

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Q" is for Quilter - of course!

Pale winter sunlight comes in through the window and touches my Grammy's quilts. There are two that have survived and they both are normally folded and out of direct sunlight but this morning I have brought them down from the shelf to visit with them once again. One is a Double Wedding Ring, made for my parents when they were newly married in 1943.



Over the years, it received much use and washing. It was not intended to be packed away in a trunk. Sections of the rings have disappeared but the quilting stitches have held up well. The second quilt is appliqued - not sure of the exact pattern name - it might be a version of the Dresden Plate...perhaps a Laura Wheeler design??


I don't recall if this was made for a special occasion. It is still in good condition and I feel it did not receive a lot of use. Distant memories tug at me when I look at it - a few of the little plaids remind me of dresses that were worn when growing up. If I had to date this particular quilt, it seems to fit into the early '50's. There are no visions imprinted in my mind of Grammy quilting - I can only imagine. I  do recall that she was a prolific seamstress and used a treadle sewing machine for years. Even as a young adult, I eagerly wore a gorgeous shocking pink wool suit that she made for me from a Vogue pattern. Grammy was born in the 1890's and went through the Depression Years as a wife and mother to 3 children, my Dad being the only son. Dad says he can remember shopping with her in Martinsburg, West Virginia where they lived. There was a department store that offered a wide variety of merchandise, including a Notions section with a huge selection of buttons. Dad states that it seemed like Grammy would carefully examine each and every button on display while he would fidget with typical little boy impatience.

Other than her family, there were two things in her life that defined her as a person - her strong Christian faith and her love of sewing. She experienced some difficult times throughout her life and I believe making quilts brought her a measure of peace and comfort.

From French Canadian stock, my maternal Grandma (Wisconsin) made simple tied quilts with wool batts to warm the12 children in the family. She was more concerned with usefulness although I have heard she created endless yards of tatted lace in her "spare time."  I don't know of any quilts that remain...But evidently, quilting genes were passed on and I have become what is known as a "quilter." There is a picture in my mind of both Grandmother's in Heaven - arms linked and shaking their heads - saying -"look at that Granddaughter with an entire room devoted to nothing but quilting...in all our born days, such a sight."

For much of the year, my days revolve around this passion. There might be a brief period during the summer months when the garden beckons and intense sewing gets pushed to the back. I cannot imagine being without this way of life. There are days when I eat, sleep, dream and think of nothing but quilts...one could say it is an obsession, but there are far worse things to be addicted to in this world. A project that has me stumped or so excited as it progresses has often kept me awake at night...tossing and turning. At one point in my journey, quilting took me into the world of starting up a shop. It remains one of the most satisfying things I have epver done. But what I took away from that was something far greater...friendships formed - true and lasting. Because all quilters speak the same language and totally understand each other, even when there are no words, the bond is made and you are forever linked. The world of quilts has led me to Australia, the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky, a number of quilt markets to purchase inventory for the store, Guild bus trips, Liberty Ladies trips with sister quilt history buffs and more little road trips with buddies than I can count.The last two years, through blogging, have opened a whole new avenue and online friends.
Whatever the reason we quilt, once bitten, we fall hard. Is it the creativity, self expression or the love of color? Is it the knowledge that while those quilts are being made, each stitch holds a private thought, a prayer, a wish or a dream? It is all of that and more - I am a Quilter and that has come to define me.

"Q" is the letter of the week over at Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. Be sure to visit all the other "Q" postings from the wonderful blogs listed.

24 comments:

jfb57 said...

As if you could have done anything else! I love these pictures! So much love!

Judie said...

I left a comment but it disappeared on me. I know how you treasure those quilts!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Pretty easy decision this week!

Lovely quilts..what a treasure..

Turtles In North Dakota said...

Beautiful post! I have a couple of cherished old quilts that I love so much.

EG Wow said...

I think quilting is a wonderful way to exercise your s=creative spirit. Your old quilts are treasures!

Pondside said...

What a beautiful post, Pat. The stories of your grandmothers and the photos of the treasured quilts - and then your own story. I love a post like this!
I am presently doing a cross stitch for a dear old friend who lives on the other side of the continent. She's a quilter, like you, and consumed with passion for her sewing. The cross stitch is all about needle and thread.

Mary said...

Love "each stitch holds a private thought, a prayer, a wish or a dream"...what a wonderful concept! I'm not a quilter, but I so enjoy the beauty & history behind them.

Teresa said...

Those quilts are beautiful, and I love how you've turned this into a tribute to your grandmother.

Honey at 2805 said...

This is a beautiful post and story! Love the quilts.

lemonverbenalady said...

Beautiful quilts, Pat. Thanks for sharing their stories!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Wonderful quilts! They are so pretty.

Ⓙ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

I wish more friends and families in this country would get together and quilt. There is nothing like the community of it...or the finished product!

myorii said...

Those are some beautiful heirlooms you have passed down to you!

JCnNC said...

I love to read your words - the beauty and eloquence of them always moves me.

I definitely would like to stitch this up for my room (with your permission) -"Each stitch holds a private thought, a prayer, a wish or a dream." Are you copyrighted? What a beautiful saying. Judy C

★Mumsy★ said...

I love looking at quilts, and yours are beautiful!

Francisca said...

What a beautiful post. I'd not be so quick to label a passion as an obsession. It's all so much fun and creativity and love. And it's in your DNA. Great Q post. [I almost posted some photos of Hmong quilts, so maybe next time. I think they look quite distinct from the Kazakh one.]

Honey at 2805 said...

I'm back again regarding the picture of your first quilt, the Double Wedding Ring. I have a vintage quilt that was given to me by my husband's great-aunt (deceased for many years). It is in the same colorway with the creamy white background and yellow the primary colorin the pattern and backing. I should take a picture of it- trying to match it up to your picture would be close. They could be sisters.

CollectIn Texas Gal said...

I so know where you are coming from in this Post...you see, I've been there done that and still am a Quilter. I enjoyed your post so very much. I think you will enjoy my Letter Q post as well....it's about Quilting, too!

Jenny said...

What a beautiful post.

I think you should send this into a quilting magazine...it is so beautifully written and eloquent.

Thanks for sharing such a perfect stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's letter 'Q'.

A+++++++++++++++++++++++

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Beautiful! I love your grandmother's gorgeous quilts and the lovely stories within your post. (My dad's family are all from Wisconsin...I have my dad's aunt's pinwheel quilt and some of the quilts from my mom...I am a novice quilter, but would definitely love a designated room for quilting/sewing/smocking/crafting/art :o)

We lived on Fort Campbell, KY for 6 years, but I had never made it to Paducah..our daughter has been married for 2 years and her hubby has family from Paducah...my heart's desire is to move closer where our we feel our kids will settle down, back in Kentucky... When that happens, I will definitely go to the Quilt show and museum in Paducah.

Thank you so, so, so much for stopping by. I would love if you would take a look at my two other quilt posts that I linked from my recent quilt post.

Blessings & Aloha!
I am following your blog now #23, and hope you might do the same. May I ask what sewing machine you use?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks so much for sharing - your photos and sentiments. The love you have for quilting comes through so loudly - and what beautiful sentiments at the end of your post! Chris

Friko said...

Quilts last because the quilter stitches a little of herself into every quilt she makes; I can see that now after reading your lovely post.

mrs. c said...

I remember over 30 years ago when I was in college at MTSU, I went to the FLea Market in Nashville and a lady pulled up in an ancient station wagon filled with quilts. She was selling them for 25 dollars a piece, which in 1976 was a lot of money for a college student, but I bought one, and I still have it today. I wish that it could talk and tell me it's history. After buying the quilt, I found my friends to borrow some more money so I could buy another one, but she was gone. I love that quilt and I would love to learn more about them! Thanks for commenting on my post.

lemonverbenalady said...

Congratulations, Pat! You must be excited about getting a Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay!