Wednesday, September 9, 2009


While going through a few old packed boxes this week I came upon this old quilt that was a gift from my mother many, many years ago. I do recognise several of the prints in the quilt as my mother never threw away anything that might find a purpose.

I see the material from a blouse she made so I could have a new outfit to wear on the first day of school, a skirt she made for the class pictures...ah yes, grade school! Many pieces from leftovers of her own handmade blouses and dresses adorn my quilt. Handmade, yes, almost all of our clothes were handmade. Back then, it wasn't considered a "craft", it was considered an necessity.
My mother took the time to show me how to sew and because of that I still love to sew to this day. Early on I discovered the pure pleasure of going to school with a one of a kind outfit...not one bought off the rack at the local store like so many of the girls did.

When I rediscovered my mothers quilt gift I realized it was time to give it some loving care and put it back in use. But because she had recycled several pieces of material into this quilt, and because of their previous use and age they did not survive the years spent in storage.

So I bought some vintage fabric that worked into the quilt as if I had reached back into my mom's sewing basket. And as I begun to hand stitch the new fabric into place a feeling of the pioneer spirit seemed to be creeping into my work. It was then I realized that I was doing what all women did back in those days....they patched, repaired, mended, and remade many things in their lives because that is the way their mothers did it. They didn't throw something away because it was broken or worn out. They repaired,, and mended many things that we today discard into the garbage with out a single thought.

The youth of today will not know the feel, the smell, the pride that goes along with a handmade item from a relative long gone from this earth. To hold such an item, to feel the tiny stitches that were placed there by my own mothers hands, to feel the softness of the vintage material, is something that no amount of money can buy.

So it is with pride that I add my own tiny stickies to this precious quilt. Maybe one day a grandchild will do the same. Thank you mom for all the late evenings you spent bent over this beautiful piece of work. I know you no longer recognize me but I know in my heart when God releases you from the terrible world of Alzheimer's that he will tell you how much your time and efforts still mean to me. And how I can still feel the love and care you put into this wonderful quilt each time I run my fingers across it.


SquirrelQueen said...

That is a beautiful quilt and you did a wonderful job of repairing it. I have some quilts made by my grandmothers. One of them needs some minor repairs and after reading your post I will do a little sewing and put it back in use.

I fear you are right about the younger generations, most of them will never appreciate something like this lovely piece of family history.

Rae said...

Prayers for your mother.
I always wished my mom or grandma had left something behind like a quilt or piece of jewelry or a sentimental keepsake. My sisters and I often comment that we have nothing of Mom's.
I am making sure I leave plenty for my kids to fight over!
Great job.

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