Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grandma's Quilt

Grandma was a frugal sole.  After a cup of tea, she would put the bag on the window sill to dry, so she could use it again. Everything was utilized, there was no waste.
Grandma also loved to sew.  She would make all her own dress of what we now call vintage print cotton, or for Sunday best a nice rayon with a small print.  With the left over fabric from the dresses, she would make little dresses for an orphanage in Korea. Those dresses were a kaleidoscope of color--never enough of one fabric for an entire dress, she would combine colors, always tastefully.  With the left over fabric from the little dresses she would cut quilt blocks. 

Her favorite shape was a 2-1/2" hexagon.  Sometimes if there wasn't quite enough fabric for a block, she would piece two scraps together.  With the hexagon shape she loved to make flower garden quilts.  Each of the seven  grandchildren received one.

Her quilts were made to be used.  So mine is threadbare in spots, once vibrant colors now faded, showing signs of wear, but still cherished.  

Looking at it, I still can remember a dress that she had of some print, or an apron of another, (Once a dress had seen its better day, it was reworked into aprons or potholders.) 

Notice that two of the blue blocks have seams
in order to make block big enough
This speaks to another era when waste was considered a sin and recycling was a way of life.


  1. I am afraid the art of making a quilt is going away - I would love to know how to make a quilt and have one too! sandie

  2. Both my grandmothers made quilts from any leftover scraps they had. I believe the best description of them would be "Appalachian Scrap Quilts" - just random pieces sewed together into blocks. My dad's mom had one that was EXTREMELY heavy and warm. When it got so threadbare that it started falling apart I realized that it was lined with newspapers. Really - newspapers! A friend did some research for me and discovered that this was not uncommon during the depression - they used everything - nothing was wasted!

  3. What a powerful post! In just a couple generations we have gone from being responsible, hard-working, and good stewards of what we had - to, in some cases, declaring ourselves victims, waiting for the government to give to us, and always demanding more. What a model your grandmother is for us all! She had a character and attitude to which we all should aspire.

  4. My grandmother made a beautiful quilt for me when I turned 18 years old and I still cherish it to this very day. What I'd give if I had learned how to quilt from her!

  5. A beautiful quilt and a wonderful story!

  6. My mother and grandmother both made clothes. When I was very young, my mother made almost all my clothes for school. That was back in the day before we were allowed to wear jeans! My grandmother was such an excellent seamstress that many brought their clothes to her for repairs or to be made to fit better. She made many quilts from all the scraps she'd save and quilted using a lap frame. I have a bow tie quilt she made and it has pieces of fabric that I remember from outfits made for me.
    I often thought I'd love to quilt, too, but don't think I have the patience for it.

  7. I think I love your grandma!

    Blessings, Debbie

  8. I love quilts and I love the stories they hold. Lately (for the first time in my life) I've been wishing I could sew. I may take a class one day. I'd love to make a quilt. If nothing else, I dream big. :)

  9. I have 2 Grandma quilts. They are almost thread-bare in spots and the edges are frayed. I love them and will never part with them.

  10. I have a couple of Grandma quilts ... one got used to the point where it almost fell apart, the other is unused and is the only thing I have left that was my Grandma's. I'm saving it for my daughter/granddaughters ... my Grandma passed ~7 years before my daughter was born, and I want her to have something from her great grandmother.

    I am a quilter and love quilts, especially those hexagon quilts. What a change from our grandmother's days when they'd use leftover scraps from their sewing or from worn-out clothing to today's quilters many of whom buy more fabrics than they could possibly use in 2 or 3 lifetimes.

  11. Wow, such treasures, Marti and I love this old photograph too...Nothing could be more priceless than a grandmother's quilt. I hope you're having a nice evening!!

  12. My Grandmas both did a lot of sewing, I had many dresses made with Love from both of them. I wish they had done quilts though, What a keepsake you have!
    What a wonderful lady she must have been to make clothes for orphans with her leftover fabrics!
    hugs Lynn

  13. Loved hearing about your grandmother!!! You said it ~ there was a time that wastefulness was unheard of ~ I think about that every time I let food go bad or throw out leftovers. My grandparents would have been so put out with me.