Yesterday was a mending day here in Hickery Holler. A day set aside to catch up on the mountain of ironing and mending that I had let collect over the last month or two. In the pile to be mended was the quilt below. A quilt made by O Wise One's grandmother Edna. The quilt dates back to the Depression and is like no other quilt I have ever seen. The entire quilt is sewn by hand.
Each square is made up of 4 triangles. Each triangle was sewn front and back together and stuffed with none other than old stockings and socks. Then sewn up individually. The finished triangles were then sewn together (whip stitch) by hand. Then the ramaning triangles were sewn around then edges to form prairie points.
Once all the triangles were pieced together it was hand quilted a 1/4 inch from each seam.
Giving you a patchwork front and back on the quilt. It absolutely amazes me the tiny whip stitches throughout this quilt. I have such admiration for the women of this era. Raising large families of childen on the farm during the Depression.
O Wise One's mother born during the Depression made everyday quilts from polyester during the 60's. These quilts are not much to look at but are heavy and last forever. That polyester is indestructible. They wash well and are the quilts that go on picnics and events where we want to spread something on the ground for the babies.
But some of the quilts that are near and dear to my own heart are my grandmother's own scrap quilts. These quilts were from cut up clothes and scraps from her children and later grandchildren. Pieced simply usually in a nine patch variation and hand quilted in the same Baptist Fan quilting pattern of all her quilts. She quilted from a roof frame that hung from the 12 foot ceilings of her old white farmhouse. The clothes were first stripped of their buttons and zippers. These items could be reused in other clothing. There were always jars of buttons sitting around waiting to be sewn on the odd shirt or dress missing one.
The batting was sometimes old blankets or broken electric blankets with the wiring removed that could be patched and reused as batting. Sometimes it was the traditional cotton batting.
Occasionally there were quilts made for special occasions ( marriages, new babies) that were made with special designs and new purchased fabric. But as you can see in the one above still with that Baptist fan quilting design. Her guide for this pattern a piece of strings with knots every inch and a piece of chalk. All of these quilts made frugally to keep their families warm yet surviving decades after their deaths. Many still in use. A testimony to their strength, imagination and creativity even in times of great turmoil and financial hardship. A lesson to many of today's quilters of how to make a quilt with very little expense.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter