Saturday, April 16, 2011
I can remember my Grandmother showing me some of the older quilts handed down from her Mother. She would point out pieces of fabric and say 'this piece here came from brother's shirt, and this one from the twins'. She could point out the origin of almost all the pieces smiling as she spoke. I wish I had listened more back then, but I suppose I listened as much as most. Life always seems to get in the way of living. We all loved and knew we were loved, so there are no regrets there. But, there are questions I'd like to ask. Though Grandma has been gone for several years, it seems I get closer to her as I grow older each year. I think back on our conversations and I'm thankful for those stolen moments.
I'm not sure who wrote this little poem as it has been around for years. But, it sums up what quilting in the hollow meant to all of us. Quilts were more than warmth on a cold winter's night. They often told a life story and became their own work of art.
Why, yes, dear, we can put it by. It does seem out of place
On top of these down comforts and this spread of silk and lace,
You see, I'm used to having it lie so, across my feet,
But maybe I won't need it here, with this nice furnace heat;
I made it? Yes, dear, long ago. 'Twas lots of work, you think?
Oh, not so much. My rose quilt, now, all white and green and pink,
Is really handsome. This is just a plain, log cabin block,
Pieced out of odds and ends; but still—now that's your papa's frock
Before he walked, and this bit here is his first little suit.
I trimmed it up with silver braid. My, but he did look cute!
That red there in the centers, was your Aunt Ruth's for her name,
Her grandmother almost clothed the child, before the others came.
Those plaids? The younger girls', they were. I dressed them just alike.
[Pg 186]And this was baby Winnie's sack—the precious little tyke!
Ma wore this gown to visit me (they drove the whole way then).
And little Edson wore this waist. He never came again.
This lavender par'matta was your Great-aunt Jane's—poor dear!
Mine was a sprig, with the lilac ground; see, in the corner here.
Such goods were high in war times. Ah, that scrap of army blue;
Your bright eyes spied it! Yes, dear child, that has its memories, too.
They sent him home on furlough once—our soldier brother Ned;
But somewhere, now, the dear boy sleeps among the unknown dead.
That flowered patch? Well, now, to think you'd pick that from the rest!
Why, dearie—yes, it's satin ribbed—that's grandpa's wedding vest!
Just odds and ends! no great for looks. My rose quilt's nicer, far,
Or the one in basket pattern, or the double-pointed star.
But, somehow—What! We'll leave it here? The bed won't look so neat,
But I think I would sleep better with it so, across my feet.