Saturday, November 19, 2011

Warmth From the Past

It's a quilt, but not just any quilt. My great-aunt Tillie made this. This quilt is 100% wool scraps and hand tied. She made this with her sisters, whom I never knew. It's easily 50+ years old. Carefully preserved in the bottom of a drawer, mom moved it several years ago to this blanket bag. Did any of us want it? Of course I took it.

It really needs to be used. The women who made this did not make it so it could be stuffed into a blanket bag and admired. They made this so it would be on someone's bed in the winter, keeping them warm. I do intend to use it on my bed. It's possible it will keep my feet warm enough that an electric blanket is not needed. We'll see.

Some quilts tell stories in the fabric used to create them. I've been looking for the bag of interfacing so I can work on my next two projects. I stumbled across a bag of fabric scraps. At one point, when Carole was in high school, I was going to make a quilt for her. We had saved bags of scraps. In one of those occasions when we got water in the basement, the bag got wet. By the time we found it, the mold on the fabric scraps made them unuseable. She was very sad for she recognized all the material from all the sewing I had done over the past 10 years. It was all ruined.

For awhile, I took my scraps to the church I belonged to. Ladies came on Thursday and sewed quilts for Lutheran World Relief. With donated fabric, they would create sometimes upwards of 25-30 quilts a year which made their way all around the world. Quilts are more than just something on the bed. They become the bed, a jacket for warmth and, strung over a line, they are a house in the desert. When the quilts were displayed in church, it was fun to look at them and say, "Oh here's this fabric. That was from a dress."

I have another stash. I still dream about making Carole a quilt. I found the interfacing and moved more fabric scraps into the bag. There's not enough for a quilt top, yet. I have hunks of fabric I've never turned into anything. Perhaps...

When I change the sheets on the bed next week when this cold fully leaves, I'll make room at the foot for this quilt. I know Mija will lie on it and I will need to be gentle with it. I never saw Aunt Till sewing although she had sewing machine in her house. Finding things like this give me a better picture of the lady I knew only as elderly and suffering from dementia, although we didn't call it that back then. A quilt handmade by a relative warms you in more than one way.

Beverage:  Earl Grey tea


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