Thursday, June 19, 2014
A Few Years back..........our quilt club showed three of my grandmother's quilts at our annual Antique Quilts Show during Deutschesfest, our fall festival.
Fronen Steppdecker is the name and theme of our quilt guild. The title, in German, describes how we all feel about quilting, I think. Can you translate it and tell me if you feel the same way about quilting?
My grandmother, Ruby, loved to quilt and was a "complete" hand quilter. Each of the three quilts I'm showing here was made by hand from start to finish.
This Dresden Plate, the most distressed of the three, was made during the late 1950's from scraps saved from Ruby's aprons. Ruby had only three dresses; but about 25 aprons! She never wore slacks. Never. She was born in Minnesota, Olmsted County, in 1889. She died in Spokane, WA, in 1989. She was an active homemaker until her mid 90's.
A lot of quilts have been sewn on machines like this classic Singer. Ruby had a White treadle machine to which my mother had helped attach an electric motor. Ruby, who never drove an automobile, either, would have nothing to do with it. "Too fast", she said, "and it doesn't sew straight."
Consequently, every piece was cut by hand and stitched by hand and quilted by hand. She collected the print scraps from the aprons and matched them with solid pieces of fabric she bought at the local "5 and 10 cent store" (probably Woolworth's - anyone remember Woolworth's?)
Ruby was an artist, truly, as were so many women of her generation.
You see, here, her stitches haven't given up, but the fabrics have.
She would lay the appliqued blocks out on her bed and fuss with them until she had them arranged the way she liked. Mother, often, was called in to help shift things because, we all know how back-breaking it is working over a bed, arranging the blocks! I witnessed the scene several times as a youngster.
Ruby loved a scalloped border and I marveled, way back then at this one, which always reminded me of a circus tent, somehow. Very cheerful and banner-like.
Well, she loved color, too. Don't we all? Isn't a trip to the quilt shop really about filling our eyes, hearts and heads with color to take us through some of the drabber phases of our lives?
This was Ruby's version of Grandmother's Flower Garden. My daughter and I repaired this quilt before the show. We are currently working on repairing the Dresden Plate and will show you our progress on that one as we go along.
This quilt was made during the 1960's. That's certainly a 60's color, that lime green, isn't it?
Ruby made this quilt for my mother, who loved the color, turquoise. Can you see where we repaired this part of the quilt?
Such vibrant colors for a woman born in the Victorian age.
We didn't repair this block then and haven't, yet. There's something kind of authentic about the wear the quilt is showing. I remember this quilt in my mother's room as I was growing up.
More wear and tear and a mark of some sort. We don't launder these lovelies, anymore. Just spot clean, air them and store them in pillow cases in a closet.
I haven't any close ups of this one, The Double Wedding Ring. Always, the scalloped edge. This quilt pattern is so wonderful. No wonder it was so popular through the years. Tell me about your heirlooms, please, when you have a minute to stop and share with us.
Remembering Ruby........love you, Gammy!