Saturday, July 25, 2009

My First Quilt - kinda

It was back in 1953... maybe 54. I was just a kid. Like most boys, I got into everything. I was staying with my Grandma and as I said... I got into everything. She planned to keep me busy so I would stay out of her rose garden. I always pulled the roses off with too short a stem. Grandma was finishing up a "Cover Quilt". She was the only one who I remember using that phrase, that was what that quilt become known as. It was pulled tight in an overhead type, wooden quilt frame; stored near the ceiling by four small ropes.

Grandma had to lower it to work on the quilt. She was hand tying (rather than hand quilting) the TWO outer pieces together (no batting) thus the name Cover Quilt. Only a piece of purple (yes, I said purple) cloth was placed inside the two outer quilt pieces. It was a thin `quilt' that was used more as a pretty cover on a bed rather than for warmth. The quilt pieces had been sewn using a Singer sewing machine. BUT the ties had to be hand-tied. That's where I came in. Grandma put me to helping her do the thread ties. In and out - tie ... In and out - tie. Yep I could do that. And I loved it but the work (to keep me still) instilled a special love in me for quilts and quilters. Did I mention that my Molly is a quilter ;-)...?

I have made a couple lap quilts for gifts to friends but mostly I work/help others with their quilts. BUT MY CLAIM TO FAME is that I have NEVER - note once - used a sewing machine on a quilt. Everything I have ever made and every stitch I have put into a quilt was done the old way ... with a needle. It takes me a lot longer than most everyone else but that is my way. Molly and I have made a lot of quilts for `city functions' and non-profit groups. Of course the quilt squares have to be machine sewn for time reasons BUT we hand quilt the rest. Molly probably won't tell you that. She probably won't mention that she had hand-quilted with the Lakota friends up here or with our Amish friends in Texas. Hmmmmm I wasn't invited. I get stuck talking to the guys .... you know - fishing - hunting - politics - etc... Did I mention I like to quilt???????

Now let's see ... where was I????? Oh, I was talking about my first `worked on' quilt with my Grandma. Anyway, the quilt went somewhere way back then but it resurfaced many years later when my Mom gave it to me. She had acquired two quilts that were family heirlooms; one was a quilt made by my Great-Aunt and the other was the one I worked on with my Grandma... It had come home and I still have it..

It has a few squares that are deteriorating but the rest is okay. We don't use it.. It is to be passed on MANY, MANY, MANY years from now to one of our kids.... Did I mention the "many, many, many" part????

I will try to post a picture of the quilt and another of my Grandma but not sure how...... Molly always helps me and she's not here now. If I can't, she can do it for me a little later.. The picture of Grandma was the last picture of her before she died... about 3 years after our `quilting' together... She is standing in her rose garden celebrating her birthday. At 61 years of age, I still miss her.. I guess God needs quilts too.

Gotta run for now ... later ... jay

PS ...............................
I posted the picture by myself .... the last time I felt like this .. well, I was helping my Grandma tie a quilt ;-)


  1. Of course I love the quilt story!! My grandma used to make quilts somewhat that way.....she would put a layer of flannel in between the top and the backing. Those are my favorite to nap under.....they wrap around me better. I'm glad the quilt resurfaced for you to treasure!

  2. What a wonderful story and a super quilt. That is such a nice memory of your Grandma to have and now you have the quilt. Fantastic. I am glad you were able to upload the photos!

  3. I guess I missed something when I commented. Probably forgot to put in that stupid word they come up with. Delightful story of your first quilt. I've read about those quilt frames. Very handy when you're in a small space. My grandmother made a quilt like that with no batting. I was really surprised. I figured it was more for decoration and now you've confirmed that.

    Great picture of your grandma too. We never stop missing our loved ones who have passed but it's great that we can have the memories.

  4. What a special quilt and a special story! Thanks for sharing!