August 22, 2011


Quilting was something that was always a great project for the women as I grew up. My grandmother was not a fancy-smancy quilter. She was practical with most anything she did and quilting was no exception. The quilt stand was always a fascinating gadget to me. I had heard that some people had them that hung from the ceiling, but ours was different. It had what resembled horses that carpenters used to lay boards across to cut them. There were holes equally placed along the top of the stands that were at each end. This allowed for us to roll the quilt inward as each shell was completed. The shells were drawn with a crayon wrapped around a string. The string was placed at the beginning corner of the quilt. From the place the string was mounted The crayon on the other end of the string was placed at the mount and in a circular motion a half circle was drawn. The mark then was repeated a couple of inches from the first mark; This was repeated until a shell shape was made. Then the process was repeated till we had stitched all the shells to the opposite end of the quilt. The quilt was then rolled past the completed quilting and the shells were drawn again. The far side of the quilt was started the same way and it was a meet in the middle sort of process. To me this quilts are prettier and mean more to me than the quilts that are quilted around each of the pieces. This was the way my grandmother done it; To me the way she done anything was the correct way. The days we quilted were like a social event to me. The neighbor ladies came to our house and it was an all day gathering. Lunch was prepared and was always a little better lunch than everyday lunches tended to be. There was the adult lady talk that I always loved. My ears were always wide open and I tried my best to join in as if I was just as old and wise as the farmers wives. Mama was always really not included in the actual stitching of the quilts. She did not have the neat stitching ability that met my grandmother's expectations. Mama was probably just smart enough to stitch badly to get out of sitting at the quilt frame all day. The issue of making Mama quilt came to a head on one particular day when Daddy came passing through the living room where the quilt was set up. He came by just in time for Mama and Grandmother to be in one of their regular arguments over how lazy Mama was. Daddy decided that he would show Mama that quilting was not hard and even he could do as good a stitch as Grandmother, me and the neighbor ladies. Thus we had a contest between Daddy, Mama and my Little Brother. The stitches that all three of them made would not pass a quality control test no matter how lenient the judge was. On this day Grandmother was thrilled that Daddy was sober and interested in something we were doing. She made an out of the ordinary decision to leave the long-crooked stitches in the quilt. I still have the quilt and can pick the area that my daddy and mama quilted. This quilt to me in priceless. Priceless for more than that reason. I can pick out the clothing that my grandmother had cut-up to make the quilt out of. My clothes were not cut up for the quilts many times; it was the left over material from dresses Grandmother had made me. One of the things that I gathered along the way was a knack for remembering all the clothing that was made for me. We used a quilt over the week-end for my youngest daughter's engagement pictures. This quilt was borrowed from her Maw-Maw. I picked out many dresses that the girls had while they were growing up. Today many quilters go and buy mix and match material to make color co-ordinated quilts, how could this have such a meaning as the ones that were made out of little dresses worn by little girls.


  1. Love it and can relate to this. Keep'em coming sister love to read and picture all this in motion in my mind.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! So similar to my own family's quilt story.