Great-Grandma’s Vintage Hand-Stitched Quilt
Isn’t it funny how you can walk past something a hundred times without ever really giving any thought to it? The other day, I curled up in bed with the sun shining through the window with a book and some hot coffee and began to just kind of zone out… the sunshine is so welcome in these cold winter months. My gaze just kind of rested upon… the blanket upon which I was sitting. I looked at it closer. It was a quilt that has been in one spot all my life – I remember it all throughout childhood – in my grandmother’s house, in her bedroom, folded in the linen closet. I don’t even know how it ended up in my ownership. All I know is that one day it was getting chilly and I pulled out some linens and they ended up on my bed.
When you’re a kid, it doesn’t make that much of a difference if something is hand-stitched or machine-stitched, for example. You’re not interested in hearing the stories of the people who made it, what inspired them, or where the fabric came from, for example. But now, I found myself peering at the stitching, the small pieces of fabric – was that the same pattern as a dress I wore as a young girl? Or that one – it looked like a pillow we’d had in our living room…
I contacted my mom later and asked her, who made these!? I knew that both of my great-grandmothers had textile pieces that had been passed on, but there was something in me that desperately needed to know who. As it turns out, my great-grandmother and her daughter made all the quilts that passed through our household as a child. This one, though, is absolutely epic.
It’s ALL hand-stitched, all of it. It’s enormous. And it’s heavy. I’m not really much of a quilter, but if I recall correctly, this is kind of a wedding-ring pattern? (Correct me if I’m wrong). I wonder how long it must have taken them to make it. Did they sit by the fireplace chattering the night away while putting in stitch after stitch? Oh, there are so many things I would ask the dead. Alas.
Whatever the circumstances, this magnificent quilt has outlived them both, and now is safe here with me. And while I don’t know the details, I do know this was a quilt meant to be an heirloom passed on from one generation to the next. I treasure it, and the connection to the past that links us.
[…] there was usually one or two of my Grandma M’s blankets. She was a prolific quilter (as I’ve blogged about before), but she was also an excellent crocheter. This is the one afghan of hers that I have – […]
Arent you just the lucky one! This is a wonderful quilt. It is a challenging quilt to make, as you probably realise there are thousands of pieces that make this quilt. It is traditional a wedding gift, the name of the pattern is “Double Wedding Ring” ie 2 rings intertwined and endless love etc. They take hours and hours to make you are right.
Enjoy your treasure and look after it. What would be good if you can make a label to stitch to the back of the quilt and list the names of the peole who made it and the estimated year(s) and then maybe the names of people it has passed to. Quilters and historians just love that stuff and as you have found now as young mother yourself you desperately want to know the history of it, later generations will too.
You have an absolute treasure in that quilt and you can be sure it was stitched with love in every stitch.
It is a warm hug from your great grandmother. How amazing is that, hugs being passed down thought the family.
All the best