Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quilting Memories

Through the years I have made many quilts. Yet many of the quilts in my linen closet are quilts that other people have made. Some are old quilts that have caught my eye at antique auctions and estate sales through the years. Others yet are the quilts of mine or hubby's ancestors. But the most treasured are the two quilts of my grandmother's. They bring back wonderful memories of my childhood and visiting the big white dogtrot farmhouse on a winding red clay backroad in the woods of southern Mississippi. You could rock on the front porch and hear the cars coming from miles away. The house had 12 foot ceilings and a fireplace in every room. They had big iron beds piled high with quilts. On a cold night Grandpa would bank the fire and grandma would tuck you in under that mound of quilts and you couldn't move till morning. The feeling of warmth and safety was indescribable but forget turning over as the weight was unbelievable. In the middle of the main room hung the quilt frame suspended by a pulley from the 12 foot ceiling. During the day grandma would lower the rope and drop the frame, and the quilt stretched tight between it's boards, down to the level that she could sit under it and quilt. I remember playing at her feet under the quilt frame with the cardboard box of old dolls she kept behind the couch. At the end of the day grandma pulled the rope thus pulling the frame back up to the ceiling and tying it off. (There were no electrical lights overhead) She never bought new material but rather collected old clothes and cut them up for her quilts. The batting was sometimes purchased but sometimes old blankets were patched and used as batting. Many times both the front and back were pieced. They were always quilted in the baptist fan pattern marked with chalk on a piece of string.

Yet the quilts I have of grandma's have lasted over half a decade. They have covered my beds and provided pallets for my 5 babies to nap on. I no longer use them but pull them out sometimes just to remember where I learned to quilt and memories of a grandmother long gone. I too am now a grandma and I too tuck grandbabies in under my quilts. Just recently my oldest grandaughter (10) and I completed her first quilt and am working on one with my youngest granddaughter (7). Every Tuesday after school she rides the bus to Grandma's and we work on her quilt. There's no outhouse out back and we do have electric lights overhead. And yes the quiltframe is my own mothers and sits on my living room floor. But really Grandma's never change! And I continue to cherish those old quilts. Though none are fancy to me they are are the most beautiful I have. Made with materials that were many times cast off from other people. They were made with love to warm her family for a lifetime .

So yes, I have made many quilts but very few in my posession are of my making because we all know quilts are made to be given and used. There are many wrapped in the warmth of my love : )

Blessings from the Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. I too, have quilts with memories, I have one that I got for graduation from high school made by my aunt, at the time I thought "great why couldn't she give me five bucks like everyone else" now it is one of my most treasured items.

  2. Sharing your memories allowed me to see a sliver of your childhood. I would love to hear more!


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