Friday, August 26, 2011

Quilting - It's in my genes

My grandmother, Minnie, was an avid quilter.  When I think of Grandma my first thoughts are of quilts, chickens, and pound cake.  She lived in a small town in Florida and raised chickens in her back yard.  She also made the best pound cake in the world.  I don't know how old Grandma was when she started quilting or how she even got started quilting.  All I know is that quilting and Grandma were one and the same.  Little did I know I would be bitten by the same quilting bug that bit her.  I'm just glad my bug bit me after the invention of rotary cutters and Omnigrid rulers!  My grandma used plain old scissors to cut her fabric, pieces of cardboard to make her templates and made her patterns from newspaper.  She pieced her quilt tops on a treadle sewing machine and quilted them all by hand, always using the baptist fan pattern.

This is Grandma in 1977 sitting at her quilting frame.  She was 74 when this picture was taken but lived to be 100 years old!  Her quilting frames were in her main sitting room and were suspended by ropes from the ceiling.  She would just wrap the ropes around the corners of the frame and it would go up high enough overhead for people to walk through the room.  When we would go visit Grandma the first thing we would do after hugging her would be to see if she had a quilt in the frame and look for her cake plate to see if her famous pound cake was under the cover.  I have her quilting frames in my attic and I hope one day to frame a quilt in them to hang somewhere in my home.

Grandma made this double wedding ring quilt for me in 1978 for me to have when I got married.  At that time I was far from old enough to get married but definitely old enough to love and appreciate this quilt and recognize the sentimental value it would hold one day.  That day is here.  I have finally retired this quilt from being used on our bed.  It is getting a little worn and frayed and I want to protect it from any further damage.

Grandma never made binding for her quilts.  She always just folded the backing over from the back to the front and sewed it down.  I've often wanted to make my binding the same way but I see now that it just doesn't hold up well after years of use if it is made that way.

Being a lover of white backgrounds I am so happy this quilt has white in it.  Thank you Grandma!

The backing is a sheet with some sort of Holly Hobbie looking doll printed on it.  Grandma used sheets as backing fabric almost exclusively.

This is Grandma and Grandpa at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

I just hope Mr. LLQ and I are still this giddy about each other after we've been married for 50 years.  I mean, look at the joy in their faces.  And finally, here I am with my sad interpretation of a Dorothy Hamill haircut and a pale face pretending to be hand quilting at Grandma's frames.  

Hope you all have a great weekend!


Debbie said...

ahhh. what a sweet post! Beautiful {cherished} quilt. Love your comment 'look at the joy in their faces.' LOL sweet.

Melinda said...

How sweet! My memories of my great grandma have to do with picking up pecans, dipping snuff (I still remember the smell) and a velveteen picture of the devil sitting on the toilet that she had in her bathroom. Ah, good times!

Linz said...

VERY sweet post!! What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful Grandma!!!

Lee said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing the memories of your grandma - what an incredible wedding quilt she made for you. So beautiful, so traditional, and yet it looks right at home here in the modern quilting world. : )

ARTSAVVY said...

Grandma and grandpa and you, were looking good in those days. So sweet of you to put his post up. I got my sewing genes from my granny Harris. I have a utility quilt that she made. It was given to me by my cousin who wanted me to have it since I quilt and she doesn't.

Ruth said...

Thanks for sharing how you came to be a quilter. I hope you girls follow the tradition. I had to chuckle when I saw the wedding anniversary picture. My parents are in their 80's now and they have the same expressions on their faces when we take pictures of them! They all must be so tired and exhausted from life's experiences. I hope I don't forget how to smile when I am 80ish!