Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Quilt From My Grandmas

As I have mentioned, I'm fortunate to have my great-grandma Ella's quilt scrap box. The scraps inside are quite small, both prints and solids, and mostly cut in a sort of diamond shape for Ella's favorite quilt pattern, which she called 'Periwinkle' and loved to make and give for gifts. It's all contained in a great vintage cardboard box, and it looks like the fabrics cover the decades from the 1920's or so to the late 1940's, with some good sized pieces of lovely 1930's solid pastels.

As you can see, there are only a few right angle seams in the Periwinkle pattern, and no seams are pieced continuously--seam allowances must be left free at the ends of pieces. It's a tricky pattern to piece, but Ella enjoyed it and continued sewing in her older years when other work became too difficult. She left a pile of quilt tops when she died, to be completed by my grandma as wedding gifts for her own granddaughters--you can see mine here. There are a few pieces in the scrap box which my grandma added as she worked, and my mom as well.

In a way, it's a glimpse of their lives. The construction of many items of clothing must have provided the scraps for the many quilts, and the quilts and clothing both were made to provide warmth and comfort--with love, thrift, and the joy of creating something beautiful and useful.

Life has changed a lot since those days, but maybe the really important things haven't changed so much. I'm fortunate to have other scraps and patterns of their lives as well--values, skills, family, traditions, memories. It's a good thing to know where we came from.

I hope to add a few bits of my own, and pass the box along to the next generation.


  1. Thank you for sharing that special story. How blessed you are to have those beautiful "scraps". I once saw a handmade gift with a patchwork heart with this saying under it: Our family is a patchwork of Love. Wouldn't that be a wonderful gift for your family members using you great grandmothers fabrics?

  2. What a lovely legacy to pass down from grandmother to daughter. I love handmade quilts and all that they signify.

    I have yet to take up a quilting project but maybe now is the time. I don't have children but I could pass it down to my niece and her children.

    Kimberly Aardal
    Publisher, EveryDayRockingChairs.com

  3. I didn't have a sewing granny, but I did get the button box. I treasure it.


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