Thursday, August 2, 2012

Unknown maker

A few years ago on a trip to Atlanta to see relatives and to do some shopping at favorite antique stores, I came across this quilt.  For some reason, it immediately spoke to me and it was a very reasonable price, so it came home with me. However, there was more to this quilt than just an attractive color combination----I spent a good deal of time checking the fabrics, sewing stitches and the patterns.  A variety of  patchwork designs, simple sewing stitches:  this had to be older than even those made by my grandmothers in the early 1890s.  The feel of the fabrics indicate age and use and fragility.  I would love to know who worked on this quilt and how long it took to save enough "pieces" to finally put it together.  I would also like to know who used it and where they lived.  Quilts are examples of marvelous cultural artistry and so many have been tossed or ripped apart for rags and underappreciated for the time and a effort and yes, the love that went into these often utilitarian household goods.  The making of crazy quilts kept children quiet in times of illness when they would learn their fancy stitches, or friends groups or church groups or homemakers groups put together quilts that included names.  Then there were those made by a single person, sewing alone by kerosene light or the glow of a fireplace.  I think the woman who made this was alone and sewing with pride.

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