Monday, March 8, 2010

Confirmation from Gramma Flo

I've been following Lazy Gal Liberated Amish 2010 Get Together - great stuff going on over there!  My resolve has been weakening and I took a trip to the stacks to find Cherrywood remnants I purchased in Paducah years ago.  In the same container was a cardboard box I inherited from my Gramma Flo.  I gave the box a cursory glance years ago when my life didn't include time for quilting.  I remembered a section of a Wedding Ring quilt, but not much else.  This small Welch's Grape Jelly box is overflowing with 30's fabrics and pieced blocks. 

There are 29 machine-pieced Dresden Plate circles.  Three have the centers appliqued.  They lay fairly flat without the center, but adding it creates a definite ruffle.

A bonanza of depression era stars - 41 hand-pieced stars with 1/8" seam allowance.  Some of the fabrics are rather thin, but all in great shape. 
There are a few orphan blocks (auditioning?) and the Wedding Ring I remembered.

Finding my Great Grandma Stanley's work has left me with mixed emotions.  Of course I'm thrilled to be the recipient, but I'm sad that her handwork, representing hours of her life, has been unappreciated for decades.  I'm assuming the quilt pieces are from Grandma Stanley because she pieced appliqued butterfly quilt tops (outlined in black buttonhole stitch) for my mom and aunt in 1934 as a Christmas gift.  Sadly, the tops were never quilted and have been folded in a closet for over 70 years.  I inherited my mom's (still unquilted).  Recently, I asked my aunt about her butterfly top and she couldn't remember what she did with it.  Those quilt tops were only inscribed with the recipient's initial ('D' for my mom and 'E' for my aunt) and 'XMAS 1934'.  Within a couple generations, the maker will be anonymous. 

I've mentioned a couple times that I'm trying to finish up projects.  I've been chipping away at the UFO pile and have finished four tops in the last year.  So, Gramma Flo is confirming my decision to 'finish what I start' (at least those I still like) and maybe what Grandma Stanley started, too.   I don't want the quilts in my head to be only pieces in a cardboard box .

12 comments:

Dolly said...

Very well put !

As I've gotten older, and especially after watching my husband lose the ability (temporarily, I pray) to do his handiwork, I've become much more aware of the need to
#1. Work at things that you love doing.......and
#2. Finish some of the beautiful beginnings you made that will only be treasured as finished, usable objects.

I truly hope that my granddaughter or grandsons, even, will want something of mine that they can finish, in order to feel 'connected' to me, but I dread the thought of quilt-tops being sold at the estate sale, or stored away until they're stained and useless.

Colleen said...

What a treasure trove of quilt goodies! The fabrics are spectacular.After my mother in law passed away in 2003 we found a similar box of quilt blocks that she made when her boyfriend (my father in law) was overseas in 1944 There were only 6 dresden plate blocks each with a friends name in the center. I made a quilt for my oldest daughter from those blocks and used reproduction 30's fabrics for borders. There is a picture of it on my blog. It is named Grandmas Dresden Plate. We also found some embroidered blocks with precious baby animals and babies with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep embroidered. I used half of the blocks in a quilt for my grandson born in 2005 and have the others will be for my youngest daughter when she has a baby. So I have made quilts from almost all of the blocks. Very special keepsakes. I will be looking forward to see what you do with your Grandmothers blocks.

Kathie said...

what a treasure! I love those dresden plates. I hope you finish them.
ah yes we need , or at least I do!, finish our ufo's that we still love!
Kathie

Country Log Cabin Quilter said...

You are so fortunate to have those blocks from your grandmother! The dresden plates are fabulous! I have some blocks from my grandmother, also, and I hope that some day I will get them put together into a quilt. There are also a few of those butterfly blocks with the black buttonhole stitching around them and I would like to make more to add to those and make a quilt. I noticed in a new quilting magazine that they had that same pattern! The old things are becoming popular again!!

Lori said...

It's nice to have a little something from your Grandma, but it is a good reminder for all us to finish what we start...and put a label on our quilts:)

beth said...

That's very good advice from both Grandmas! A good reminder to us all. I loved seeing all those old quilt blocks!

Barb said...

How lovely to find these blocks. It really is a good reminder that we label our things. as far as UFOs? I guess I'm mixed, I feel it is okay to try something and move on if it isn't working (maybe that is just a justification for all of mine,lol)
Enjoy your treasure.

Deb said...

Wow - great blocks to find. I hope they turn into something that will remind you of your Grandma.

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Pat said...

Your quilts are beautiful. Your fabric choices are great. Thank you for sharing.

Kath said...

Oh dear, I have just remembered, I have a half started wedding rings quilt somewhere!
I did like your most recent purchase, I used to work for a Swedish lady and the colours of your quilt, look rather Swedish.

YankeeQuilter said...

My grandmother was a quilter but only one of her quilts survived the dozens of grandchildren...maybe it is just as well that you got her tops unfinished so they are still in good shape for you to treasure!