June 19, 2010

A Quilt Story

G holding the quilt up for its initial portrait. The footstool blocks one corner. 2010.

Himself: Swam, took Herself to work, and came home to wait for a return call. Given another date to call back, and had a nice conversation. Picked up herself, stopped at an estate sale where small goodies were to be found. Simple dinner, bed, and lots of good humor.

Herself: Overwhelmed by donations but got some of the books done. The lady I work with, her husband’s cancer has wrapped itself around the jugular vein and over the nerves. They won’t operate. She said she wouldn’t mind prayers for Bill. With G to an estate sale where I got a cross stitched hand towel and a 1941 Thursday Club Cookbook…..illustrations by the Point Loma High School art department. That was the year my father taught at Dana JR High just down the hill from the Thursday Club and his best friend taught at Point Loma HS.

Gratitude: To whoever the new company is that hasn’t just blown the Geezer off. And the baby crow is alive and half cawing in our front yard with its unique sound. That the quilt was only $25.00....amazing.

”Oh, my husband wouldn’t let me bring something like that home,” said a lovely young woman standing next to me.

“Why not?” I asked taking the old quilt down off the bedspread racks at Amvet’s Thrift Store.

“He likes everything to be new,” she replied.

“Well,” I opened my mouth and said, “He’s going to have to learn, isn’t he.” She looked a little surprised when I said that.

I took the old quilt over to G, who had reached the books, and showed it to him. “What a beautiful double wedding ring,” he said smiling. You see, he has learned. I showed him the price, and carefully folded it over my arm to take home with us.

It’s new. New from the day it was made, folded, and put away in a trunk. The fabrics are genuine depression era scraps in all their marvelous variety, and all the pieces on the quilt are hand stitched except for the first application of the binding. The pencil lines for the quilting are still there, and there are various qualities of quilting…from many tiny stitches to larger ones, visible too. There is only one fabric that I have my doubts about, the larger weave yellow at the corners of the rings. The solid, crème colored fabric is a thin muslin, and on the back is pieced to make it wide enough to fit the front. On the front, the rings are round, beginners make lumpy rings so whoever made this quilt was no newcomer to quilting. There’s no signature or initials or date anywhere, yet I know it was made with love by someone who cared.

I have turned it face out, and folded it on new creases for a few days. Later this evening, I will take it along with us to dinner with the J2’s. Friend Jill knows quilting and old quilts. Perhaps she will know far more than I about this marvelous bit of history.


  1. Being able to read a quilt must be such a nice skill.

  2. Oh wow! Maggie, this is so gorgeous. Thank goodness my husband really appreciates old quilts. At one time he almost took a course himself on how to make them. Those tiny stitches, oh my!

  3. I'm so intrigued that you could discover a story through the stitches and all... lovely. Also, thank you for your response to the young woman.

  4. I'm so intrigued that you could discover a story through the stitches and all... lovely. Also, thank you for your response to the young woman.

  5. Love it! My great-grandmother finished the top of one almost exactly like it and it was left to me though I wouldn't be born until 3 months later. Sometime in the 1980's my mother added a lining to match one of the pieces that appeared dominant, a tiny green gingham check. My only worry now is that my daughters may prefer new to old and what will happen to it when I'm gone. Because the fabrics were from different periods, it probably has little value other than sentimental. I'm so glad you were the one to find this treasure, and for $25!!!! Unbelievable.

  6. Just found your blog via a Google News feed that sends me links to stories about quilts. What a WONDERFUL find! The fabrics look mint. I love trying to ferret out the stories in the old quilts I find. I'm taking one very used quilt apart right now and documenting the process step by step on my year old blog. karenquilt.blogspot.com. What a treasure-hunt quilts offer! And what carriers of women's and commuty history! Enjoyed your website site too!

  7. Now that's a quilt. What a beauty. Puts mine to shame.

  8. 1. The quilt is beautiful. What a treasure!!!
    2. Her husband would LET??? SHE ACTUALLY USED THE WORD 'LET'????
    3. You comment was PERFECT. I fear I would not have been as direct and kind.


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