Stitching the Family Together
Recently I stopped by my aunt’s house on my way to the coast. She was working on a quilt. Actually, she’s quilting a top that was made by my great-grandmother and she’s quilting it by hand. She said that my grandmother had never been able to find a name for the pattern her mother made in this top. I think we should call it “Josie’s Garden.” Maybe someone will recognize it and solve the mystery.
I admire quilters. I come from a family of them. Besides my great-grandmother, both of my grandmothers quilted and two of my aunt's. They pieced by hand in tiny little stiches that have stood the test of time. I got really interested when I was about 19. At 20 I became a mother and never did more than piece and quilt a doll quilt for my daughter.
When my first two grandchildren were born I was working for a teacher who quilts for relaxation. She uses a machine as do most modern quilters and she sends her tops out to be quilted. Her quilts are works of art and she created one for me “to take naps with the babies under.” And I have.
My grandmother told me that according to tradition whatever you dream of the first time you sleep under a new quilt will come true. I’ve only had one shot at that and I didn’t remember my dream. I wonder what it was.
Personally, althought the arty quilts are breath-taking, I prefer the old homey quilts that tell a story of a mother or a daughter's dress that may have originally been a flower sack or maybe papa's shirt. My grandmother could tell me where every fabric came from in the quilts she and her mother made. Gosh I miss her!
I have a top that Great-Grandma Josie made (as well as a couple of finished quilts). It’s a twin bed Sun Bonnet Girl. I need to get busy and quilt it so my granddaughter can have it. Question is, which granddaughter?