Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reclaiming My Past

Recently my grandmother came over and brought me three boxes filled with a part of my past I'd never known. I was literally speechless when I opened the boxes and saw hand-sewn quilt tops and pieces staring back at me created by my great, and great great grandmothers. It was as if generations of memories, of a love for fabric, thriftiness, creation, and family came rushing out at me. I could feel it at my core.

According to her, I am the only person she could think of who would care about family treasures like these quilts the same way she does. The only one who would see the history, the value, and the potential inherent in their every stitch.

I often wonder if these women watched their children (my grandmother and her sisters) play while stitching up these quilts. What went through their minds as they sewed? Did they quilt because they loved it, or because it was expected? Was it social for them, or a hobby of their own? Was it just something necessary?

Every single piece was lovingly hand-stitched, often from scraps that were saved from sewing clothes for my grandmother and her sisters in, and before the depression. Some, like the butterfly appliqued quilt pieces below, were made by my daughter's great great great grandmother in 1931 for my daughter's great grandmother when she was the same age as my daughter is today. If that isn't an amazing tie into family I don't know what is.

I don't imagine these women would have wanted their hard work to go for nothing, and that they would want it to be treasured, completed, used, and displayed. I fully plan on completing each of these quilts, hand-quilting each one in turn. It may take me a lifetime, but imagine the joy of presenting a quilt of generations to my grandchildren, that began with their great, great, great, great grandmother... this is what its all about.

DSC_0097 (600 x 354)

DSC_0072 (600 x 594)

DSC_0078 (600 x 393)

DSC_0079 (600 x 402)

DSC_0087 (600 x 402)

DSC_0091 (600 x 402)

DSC_0095 (600 x 402)

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