Monday, March 03, 2008

Mama's Hand

I took advantage of this past weekend's great warm weather to wash some big things and give my new dryer a break. This is an old quilt my grandmother and mother made (and probably an aunt) many years ago. These old quilts have a certain quality that quilts made today just don't have. They feel much weightier for one thing and I like that. This one was made with actual cotton lining whereas the ones made today use some kind of synthetic crap. Of course, the pattern is a little rough and not as artistic as, say, the one I have hanging in my bedroom (http://edificerex.blogspot.com/2007/12/ill-be-home-for-christmas.html ) and the stitches not as fine but I love it anyway. One fond memory I have as a child is sitting on Granny's front porch in the summer with her and my aunt Corinne and watching them piece quilt squares or snap beans. Her porch was very shaded and made of concrete so it was very cool there and we would have plenty of iced tea. Quilting is one art I have never been able to get the hang of so I have always had a good appreciation for the work that goes into them.

7 comments:

Woody said...

Annie..we have been really blessed that most of the quilts from my grandparents ended up at our house. They are the best! Heavy and very soft from years of use. I've been hunting for the right branches to make a hanging rack for display. Theresa just loves them.

peace

Floridacracker said...

It's funny to me how snapping beans or shelling crowder peas on a porch are such a common, happy memory with people I know.
It runs like a thread through the south.

karl said...

something deeper than tactile is lost during the use of modern materials for folk art.

we have no true folk art quilts here. i gave one to my mom that i found at a garage sale years ago. i'll probably end up with it someday. our family doesn't have a quilting history. too bad

edifice rex said...

Hey Woody! Yes, to have quilts handed down to you is quite special. I have a very large one that I would like to display in the house but I have so many darn windows I can't find a spot yet.

Hey FC! You know, I guess kids don't have to sit and help shell peas anymore and such but those really were some of the best times. The adults would all tell stories (some true, some not!) and of course, one or two old dogs would be laying nearby and if you glanced over at them they would obligingly thump their tail a time or two on the porch in acknowledgement, as it was way too hot for them to raise their head.
I would like to do these things at my house.

Hey karl! And also, I can point to many of the scraps of material in the quilt and remember a particular dress my grandmother had etc. because that is where they got the material; nothing was wasted. Well, maybe your family could start a quilting tradition or similar. I saw the lovely little dress that Tabitha made for your daughter; it was beautiful. The main reason it upsets me that I have not been able to get the hang of quilting is because of the memories and history it has in my family. But I have always been different anyway. :D

Anonymous said...

Quilting has become an important heritage in our family. My mother and grandmother were and are quilters. My mother said when she got married in 1954, she had 5 quilts that she had made for her hope chest. I am happy to have one of those quilts now. My grandmother always had one she was working on, and helped me get started. When my daughter married 3 years age I hand made the top out of scraps of dresses that I had made her as a child. My mom hand quilted it. We decorated her reception with family quilts and had her wedding quilt hanging behind the wedding cake. My other daughter is getting married in November and her quilt has just been finished. Thank goodness our other child is a boy....Reckon he will want a quilt, also..........My sister-in-law won best of show at the Oneonta quilter's Guild show in October with a quilt that she made.....My son calls quilting an illness that sucks everyone in....I think we all appriecate the time, effort, and love that goes into a quilt, besides being very warm and comfortable on a cold evening. Sometimes we forget some of the best things in life, the simplicity of sitting on the porch and shelling peas (or trying to get out of shelling peas. I hated butterbeans the worst, they made my fingers hurt). Of course, we sat on the porch because we had no AC growing up and it was 2 degrees cooler outside than inside.......Mobile, AL has hot, steamy, HUMID summers.....
Have a great day and good luck with the house and work schedule.

pablo said...

Was that iced tea sweetened? I can remember shelling beans with my grandmother on her farm during my idyllic boyhood summers in Kentucky. I think that counts as the south.

edifice rex said...

Wow Barry, that's great that ya'll carry on the quilting so. Mama made each of us a quilt when we graduated high school and moved off to college. Of course, I still have mine and I have my oldest brother's, who passed away, so it means a lot too.

Hey Pablo! Yeah, Kentucky is definately the south and the tea was sweetened, of course. To have made it any other way back then would have got you branded as a heretic. Nowadays they are not quite so strict. After drinking unsweet tea for so long I actually cannot tolerate sweet tea. It is like syrup to me.