The term quilt comes from the Latin meaning a stuffed sack – making quilt an excellent example of a word for which the definition leaves something to be desired. A stuffed sack? I think not!
Upon the passing of my maternal grandmother Eva, I was given this unfinished piece of a flower garden quilt she had started in the late forties early fifties. I thought I was “all that” when I wore it as a shawl with my maxi skirts and granny boots in the ‘70’s. But reason prevailed-I realized I should preserve this folk art treasure, and so I found someone who works with old textiles. It was decided that pinning it to a very thick foam core would be the best option. I framed the whole thing in oak, and it hangs in a prominent spot in my home.
I considered finishing the quilt, but realized that I kind of liked the frayed corners and the unfinished nature of this wonderful piece of quilt. There was a bag of “flowers” not yet sewn together, so I don’t think the project floundered from lack of resources. The white connecting fabric is bleached snuff sacks-Granny always had a bit of snuff tucked into her cheek.
Our mother will stand at the quilt and identify scraps of fabric from dresses she wore-and she remembers other scraps from dresses her sisters wore. It always touches my heart when I realize that the flower garden quilt is really a journal of my grandmother’s life and the life of her daughters.
When we entertain, there is almost always a question about the quilt-who made it, where did the fabric come from (most quilts today are pulled together from a fabric store with color coordinated fabric).
I have this little poem framed nearby which helps tell the story of my grandmother’s quilt:
Glad memories are woven unawares
In blending pieces of each favorite dress!
And so this quilt is eloquent today
With happiness that passes not away.
by Amy Smith
One of the goals of “Picture This” is to capture a moment, and/or an image of things we use/see/do everyday without much thought. It is when we pause to reflect on the image that we realize something important has happened: taking a moment to savor the ordinary adds meaning and a moment of grace to our lives. I am grateful for today’s post which allowed me to ponder/savor/embrace the simplicity and beauty of a quilt-which is so much more than a stuffed sack.
Do you have a quilt that evokes those memories for you? Or, God bless you, are you a quilter? What patterns do you love?