June 20, 2010

A Stitch Through Time

A close-up of the cross stitch dogs on a hand towel. 2010.

Himself: Estate sale, played games, worked at the museum, dinner with the Fanatical Feasters, and home. It sounds so simple.

Herself: Thank you all so much for the notes about the quilt yesterday. I spent more time changing the coding on the Ducky entries, ran up and down stairs doing laundry while building a dummy for my chapbook. I really had trouble building a template for the book doing it their way. I’ll try mine and see if it works. This morning, I was very touched by the CBS Sunday Morning segment on early onslaught Alzheimers. Tonight there will be new jobs assigned to the “Trusted Servants” at the evening meeting. I am so done with taking out the trash.

Gratitude: Dot and Jill about the quilt…which I took to dinner.

Jill and I were very enthusiastic about the quilt, but dear Dot was “over the moon” about it…that’s an old phrase that well fits this quilt.

I took it in to dinner with us, and it was difficult, if not impossible, to wrench the quilt away from Dot when the food arrived. After dinner, we spread the quilt over another quilt on the back of Grumpy…everyone should have a lid on their truck just so they can display quilts they find at the neighborhood thrift stores.

The general consensus is that many of the fabrics are far older than the depression era. I had been thinking that perhaps it had been made in about 1931, but Dot’s enthusiasms have made me think it is older still. No date to be found. No initials. Holding it up to the light shows a thin old flannel sheet inside the careful quilting. The ladies urged me to note the date and place I bought it on a label, and I want to add the price I paid too. Dot says that she has an old muslin of similar vintage which I can use to create the lable.

At an estate sale the same weekend, where everything was over-priced, I picked up a little hand towel. Rows of happy poodles pinkly leap across the hem done with the same care that the double wedding ring quilt was made. The brown has faded. The brown thread itself is fragmenting, but the towel is just as much a gem in its own way as that beautiful quilt is. I always keep my eyes out for special pieces like these. They all belong in museums, no one uses them anymore, and most lie in drawers forgotten. Instead, these small works of art will live here for a few years, much loved, carefully tended, and perhaps displayed in a shadowed place for a short while.


  1. Just getting caught up on blog reading. The quilt and the cross stitch hand towel are really beautiful. I am glad to think they will be preserved for a little more time. I, myself, am trying to begin to separate from things. I have started giving my favorite things to my children.

  2. I used to quilt and I have also done a few cross stitch pieces...but nothing as nice as these.

  3. I love hand towels and treasure the ones embroidered by my mother.
    When I first married MRL I had many hours alone and decided to make a quilt. People thought I was mad to hand sew it but I finished it and it is sitting on the bed behind me as I type.

  4. It's a shame that these art form of creating batting on towels and table cloths has gone by the wayside. The products are all so lovely.

  5. I love these pieces! They are absolutely beautiful. I adore embroidery, cross stitch, all the needle arts. These are fabulous heirloom pieces.


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