Monday, November 19, 2012

Granny Rose's Quilts

Last week I found a treasure trove of beautiful antique quilts tucked in cedar chests, linen closets and dressers at my mother-in-law's home. All were hand quilted by her mother, Lydia Rose, from the 1920's through the 1970's. Most of them I had never seen before. Some are hand pieced, others machine pieced on her old treadle machine, which I now own.
They are classic patterns like LeMoyne Star, Silver Maple, Star of Bethlehem, Bear's Paw, Nine Patch, and some I haven't identified. Her fabrics are mostly cotton, but she scattered in a few patches of corduroy, linen, flannel and denim.  She chose a variety of prints, stripes, plaids and solids from many eras. She obviously used whatever fabric she could find from curtains, flour sacks, tablecloths, blouses, house dresses, men's shirts, and pajamas, along with material she bought or traded with friends.

Backings are muslin and cotton, but one has a warm cream flannel. Batting is mostly thin, probably flannel, but at one frayed edge I found she had used a lightweight striped sheet blanket between the layers. A few of the quilts were well loved and worn with some stains, others look brand new and may never have been washed. The colors are bright and vibrant, in pleasing combinations and contrasts.

Isn't this strip pieced LeMoyne Star cool?
I knew her, of course, but never talked to her much about quilting. At that time I was into sewing the latest clothing styles and not very interested in old fashioned quilts. How I wish I had paid more attention to her and to my own grandmother who quilted. Wonder how many quilts they made? I'd love to ask them about their color choices and patterns, where they purchased fabric or found time to sew. 

At least I got to admire, examine, photograph and help preserve these gorgeous vintage quilts. Now I am inspired to use some of her designs and color combinations.   

A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.  ~Author Unknown