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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tales of Family Quilts --

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The leaves are long gone now up on top of the mountain, and where I couldn’t see the mountains for the leaves on the trees in the summer time – I can now look all around me, and really recognize that the cabin does in fact exist on a ridge and there are mountains in every direction in the distance.

Silent, vast views – standing like sentinels, guarding this precious place I have learned to call home, just as much as my full time home.

Dad and I arrived last night close to 10pm and there was much unloading and putting away of groceries, warming up the cabin by kicking up the flames in the gas fire places, upping the temperature  of the water heater and doing all of those “coming back after a long time away” chores before we could settle in.

Open the blinds.

Plug in the Keurig.

Feed the deer.


Show dad all the changes that have been made since he was here just a year ago.  It helps me to see how much we have accomplished in 12 short months as well. 

I am happy.  I have made this place mine.

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A rainy cloudy view this morning--

The smell of bacon and eggs frying are filling the cabin as daddy makes his daughter breakfast while she taps away at the computer.

There could not be a bigger smile on any daughter’s face than the one on mine right now!

This morning I want to share a story that was sent to me by Cindy who has a story to share about a very special quilt.

She writes:

Hi Bonnie -

When you asked the other day if your readers had any "patchwork in an unusual space" I was inspired to share my feedsack quilt with you.  It usually hangs in the small hallway between my kitchen and laundry room where I see it frequently and it is protected from the sun.  But for a few hours in September 2009 this quilt was displayed in a very unusual place.

cindyconally1

Cindy’s feed sack quilt

This beauty was made by my mother, and it is full of family connections. My mom did not become a quilter until after she retired and she and my dad moved to North Carolina to be near their grandchildren.  As a Depression Baby herself, she was particularly fond of 30's reproductions and feedsacks. 
On her first trip back to Louisiana after the move she asked my grandmother if she could have her collection of feedsacks.  Except for an occasional apron, my grandmother hadn't made clothing from feedsacks since I was a child.  I have a picture of myself as a toddler knee deep in fabric after pulling her feedsacks out from a lavabeau (washstand).

These feed sacks once held chicken feed that my grandfather fed to his flock.  The feed was purchased at a small country store owned by his brother, who was also my mother's "parrain" (godfather).  My great uncle's wife was my grandmother's sister, making for yet another family connection.

My mother decided on a simple rail fence block to minimize fabric waste.  The sashing, binding, and backing are contemporary fabrics, but the blocks are all various feedsacks.  It is hand quilted, and she quilted a chicken at each intersection as a reminder of the fabric's origin.

My mother completed and gave this quilt to me on November 23, 2000.  This day was significant as it happened to be Thanksgiving Day, her favorite holiday, and the 21st birthday of my eldest daughter, Renee.  Seven months later I was able to get a picture of my mother and grandmother with the quilt when my grandmother, nearly 94, travelled to North Carolina for Renee's wedding.

When my mother died in 2009 I decided not to have a large spray of flowers on her casket.  Not only would she not have approved of the expense (remember, she was a Depression Baby), but my youngest daughter is allergic to many types of flowers.  That's when I came up with the idea of draping her casket with a quilt, just as my dad, a veteran, had his casket draped with the flag. The quilt she made from utilitarian fabrics belonging to her parents seemed the perfect choice.

All through the wake and rosary her quilt draped casket brought smiles and fond memories to the mourners.  It even served as a sort of conversation starter, getting people who previously did not know each other talking and sharing stories about my mother.

My mom saved the few precious scraps left over after making this quilt.  I have them tucked away, and after I retire I plan on making something with them.  Right now I am thinking string pieced pin cushions as a memento for each of my four girls.  One day "the funeral quilt" will drape my casket.  Hopefully that will not be for some time. 

I have four pin cushions and a whole lot of quilts I want to make first.
Cindy in NC
What a wonderful story!  Thank you so much for sharing it, Cindy!


THREE MORE DAYS!!

After putting the cabin in order last night, Dad and I settled in and watched some tv while I continued on the binding for Grand Illusion.  2 sides bound, 2 sides to go!

I only plan on handwork this week so my hope is that I can finish the binding and get some good quilt photos while family is here for the holiday.

Besides that quilt, there are 3 more with binding/sleeves needing to be sewn and a half-added hexagon section that needs to be finished connecting ---

I’m hoping for lots of feet up, movie time and just hanging out with my fave peeps!

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

24 comments:

karen a. said...

Wonderful quilt,wonderful story,thanks for sharing. Have a great Thanksgiving week.!

Elliott Queen said...

Loved Cindy's quilt! Those scrappy quilts bring about so many memories, and even if you don't have those memories, your eyes keep moving all over the quilt with excitement. Scrappers are the best and Cindy's mother did a wonderful job of using the scraps to their best. Now, about the mystery quilt,...Do you think Mona your neighbor or Beanie her doggie could be coaxed into watching your house so that when you go outside to take photos of the quilt they could take secret photos to share with all of us? Mona and Beanie could wear hidden cameras? Too much fun with all of this secret stuff. Have a great Thanksgiving with your father and the rest of your family!

LynCC said...

Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

dorothy said...

Love the quilt, but the memories are priceless! Cindy your story had me tearing up! Thank you for sharing.
Bonnie have a great holiday and relax with the family!

Anonymous said...

Have a GREAT Thanksgiving with your family Bonnie :)

Prima Donna said...

Such a priceless quilt story! Happy Thanksgiving, Bonnie.

Shelley Mallory said...

Thank you so much for Cindy's story. Both of my grandmothers died before I was born, and a house fire when I was a child destroyed any saved handiwork. Thanksgiving brings together people who knew them and loved them, and wonderful stories. I am so glad to be aware of those who did grow up with "Grandmas" do cherish them and their memories. Have a nice holiday, and have a great time with your family as I am too. Also looking forward to Friday.
Thank you so much.
Shelley Mallory

Teatime Creations said...

What a wonderful story. Such a gift of family history and love.

Anonymous said...

My aunts did the same for my grandmas funeral. Grandma never liked flowers so her quilting handiwork adorned her casket instead.

Anonymous said...

Haury@juno.com

Vicki said...

Why I never thought of draping a casket with a quilt, I'll never know. What a wonderful, touching idea. Thank you for posting and Cindy for sharing.

JanineMarie said...

Beautiful quilt, made even more beautiful by a beautiful story!

Julie Vernon said...

In eastern Tennessee,draping a quilt over the coffin at a family members funeral is common and still so very real and beautiful. Flowers are nice, but somehow offering the quilt's family connection and even the warmth send a message of love like nothing else can.

Such a nice quilt, but wonderful memories.

Smiles, JulieinTN

Pat Converse said...

Bonnie, have a great week with your family ... Can hardly wait for Friday!

Emelia Harrison said...

I love that story and the quilt too. For my mom's funeral we happened to find a quilt lined casket and that's what she had because of her love of quilting.

Hope you and your family have a great and Happy Thanksgiving. See you for the start of our mystery.

Just Plain Pam said...

Thanks for sharing this quilting story with us, I just got home from work ( nursing aid at local nursing home )every so often we have new residents come to us that have their favorite quilts for their beds - always a great conversation starter, and brings smiles and memories to so many of them.

suzanne, dutchess county NY said...

We recently had a fire to an outbuilding. The fire inspector mentioned to me that the Keurig coffee makers have been found to catch on fire. I sw in the post Bonnie you use one. Please Bonnie readers! If you have a Keurig please only have it plugged in when using.

Anonymous said...

Lovely story, and what a beautiful gesture to make her funeral hers. Happy Thanksgiving to all. My sleuthing (Mystery Quilt) skills are pretty rusty, but will be giving this one a try.

Sue said...

Love the story. I have some of my grandmothers feed sacks. She had chickens too. She went to bingo at the firehall every Wednesday night and she sold eggs and shelled walnuts at their mid-break. Pleasant memories!

Sara said...

what a lovely story to go with that pretty quilt. My mother-in-law's last quilt was draped over her coffin. And after the funeral the names of all 18 grandchildren were put in a hat, and one name was drawn out. That granddaughter now treasures that quilt.

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Anonymous said...

...and feed the deer. Sounds like my house. Feed the cats... chop carrots for the deer!

Lois said...

So glad your precious dad arrived safely. How sweet of him to make his little girl breakfast. Clearly, you love each other very much.

Thanks for sharing the beautiful story about the quilt. It really touched my heart.

Prima Donna said...

I read Cindy's letter here on the day it was posted. My mother passed away yesterday. I asked my sister if we could use one of Mother's hand embroidered, hand quilted quilts on the casket. She loved the idea. Today we took the quilt to the florist and she took a photo of the quilt. She is preparing a spray of flowers to match the flowers on the quilt. The funeral is Monday. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing this.