After my mother being gone from me for some 7 1/2 years I have finally been rummaging through her stash. Yesterday I took a quilt that she had in the frame when she died, March 31, 2004, to our local quilt store to have it finished. There is also a quilt top completely pieced and I also left it.
I do a lot of sewing but do not do hand quilting. She made some 45 quilts from start to finish. She must have cut pieces constantly. She was a widow for 11 years and even though she lived across the street from me, I didn't realize how much she did. She was born 1921 and never sat still with idle hands one minute of her life. I feel as though I have spent the afternoon with her. If only.
There are so many pieces waiting to be assembled I can hardly wait. I also have many of her quilting books so guess I will be doing this evening.
Yes, I remember when I sent a quilt top out that my Grandmother sewed. I wished that I could have hand quilted it myself but I KNEW it would never happen. I see one of my grandmother's quilts daily as it hangs over the antique rocker in my living room.
There are 3 siblings. She was afraid one would think she loved them more than the others so she didn't mark any of them to one of us. Since I lived close I put them in my guest room as we worked to clear the house for sale. The very last thing we divided was her quilts and some that she had from our ancestors that dated before the Civil War. When the time finally came to divide them I put each one in a black plastic bag and tied it tight. So the others couldn't say I knew what was in any of them, DH brought them all into the den and put them in a pile. We drew straws to see who would draw 1,2 and 3. One at a time we selected a "bag". Then we watched as each one opened their surprise. Agreed before hand that bartering was ok if there was something we reallllly wanted. We all went home with what we had picked anonymously. She would be so proud of us. Never one word of discord through the entire ordeal of dividing her belongings. One amazing Christian woman. How lucky I am.
Lou... thanks for sharing, it's a beautiful story. I would encourage you and your siblings to document the quilts, including the ones you are finsihing snd that have yet to be finished. With quilts from before the Civil War, they are truelu family heirlooms. Also, there are organizations and quilt museums that are documenting quilts, especially the ones from the 19th century and before. They are keeping a document of our quilting heritage. i would recommend that your family search one of these groups out, especially if there is one in Texas, and let them document your family's history. Remember in your family's personal documentation to include pictures, letters stories, etc. of your ancestors if available. What a great gift for your children and grandchildren.
And, please, share pictures here, including your process of piecing your Mom's quilts together. I, for one, would find it extremely interesting to follow.
PS... there are wonderful people on this forum to help you find the right patterns for the pieces that you have. Use this invaluable resource as your go along.
Thank each of you for your comments. I was very close to my mother and I didn't realize just how long I have been grieving.
I put the quilts and all of tools away and have just now had the emotional control to go through them. She was 82+ and had been very sick for about her last 6 months. It was a blessing for her when God called her home and released her from the pain. Quilting was her passion. She belonged to a local quilting group and they belonged to the Dallas Quilt Guild. I have been to many, many quilt shows with her. Even went on a bus tour that ended at the Houston Quilt Show. She went on another tour that took her into Amish country and Paducah, Kentucky. I have pieced one sample quilt and did a terrible job of quilting it. I would so love to have all of you here with me to sort through this marvelous stash.
Had another wonderful day digging through things I had put away in 2004. Wow! what a treasure. I'm all psyched to start piecing quilts. May not do hand quilting but there is a very good quilt shop near me that does long arm quilting. Between my mother and I, we could furnish a gadgets store.
What a joyful day for you Lou. Every now and again I glance around my home at treasures that were my Mom's. I miss her so much and it's been 24 years since I lost her. She was such a lovely woman and I smile just thinking of her. You sound like you are happy now and I'm glad you feel good about doing this - that's wonderful.
I have been blessed by an angel. Quilter_Gal had volunteered to teach me how to appliqué the dresden plates that I got for a wedding present in 1961. She came to my home yesterday. I had other obligations today so I didn't get to put into practice what she taught me. She is an absolute genius. I looked through her on-line photo albums and I am just amazed. She can and does EVERYTHING. Talent and goodwill just oozes out of every pore. Discovered we live roughly 20 miles apart. How great is that?!?!
In my total ignorance about her abilities I commented that she should be a teacher. Well, of course, she already is. Precise, kind, pleasant, patient, I don't have enough words to describe this beautiful soul. I have been on another plane ever since she was here.