Monday, April 19

What's on the Line?

It's Monday and time for a visit to the clothesline. You may notice that this week's quilt isn't hanging in my backyard. This is the clothesline across the road from the Lehigh Public Library in Lehigh, Iowa. That's my great Aunt Marian's Nine Patch quilt hanging on the line. There's a story behind the quilt......of course. :-)

The day I took this picture it was sunny and warm in mid June of 2008. I was in Lehigh visiting my mom. It was the weekend of the local River Days Festival and we - my mom, me and my cousin, Patty - had set up a display of quilts in the library. You can go here , here , and here to the posts that I wrote about the quilts that were displayed.
As I carried quilts into the library, I noticed the vacant house across from it and the clothesline. I asked the librarian if she thought it would be okay if I hung a couple quilts there to attract the attention of folks driving by. Since the house was empty, she couldn't see any problem with it, so I hung the quilts. I hung a small crazy quilt on the left and a patriotic wallhanging to the right of Aunt Marian's Nine Patch. It looked perfect! There was a slight breeze and it was so nice to look out and see the quilt flying up with the breeze and then wafting slowly back down. In the late afternoon, the breeze stiffened and the quilt made a "flapping" noise as it went higher up and then back again. And then clouds rolled in and just in time, we got the quilts off the line and into the library.
There was another day that quilt was blowing in the breeze and it was on a day when my mother was at Aunt Marian's and the quilt was hanging on her clothesline. There was also an old worn log cabin quilt, too. My mom said that she asked Marian about the quilts and she said...."oh, those old things, they're old and I'm going to get rid of them". And she did....she gave them to my mom. A few years after that, my folks had a need to downsize from their house to an apartment, and it was necessary to have an auction. Guess who bought the "old things" that were hanging on Aunt Marian's clothesline?...........Me, of course. :-) I actually use this Nine Patch quite a bit. It's just tied but I love it. I see that quilt and I think of Marian. :-)
Last Monday, I got a call from my mom that Marian had passed away on Sunday evening. She had fallen a few weeks before and broke her hip and as so often happens, she couldn't recover. She was 92 and had still been living in her home before the fall. I got to see her when I was in Iowa for the retreat. She was still chipper and smiling, thanking me and my mom for stopping by the Care Center to see her. I am so glad that I got that chance to visit because I knew it could be the last time I would see her. The last two years she was our oldest Linn family member that attended our reunions and also the last member of her generation. I think I'll bring this quilt and the log cabin one to the reunion this summer and we'll feel her presence thanks to the stitches she left behind in these quilts.

My last thought for today is this.......... forty years ago, I started doing a lot of laundry.........hee hee.........when our daughter, Collette, was born on this day. That was back when cloth diapers were still used so, yep, I was doing a lot of laundry. I actually enjoyed washing baby clothes, as I always loved the soft feel of the flannel. By the time our son came along, disposables were popular but I chose the "real" thing. I know that disposables are convenient but wrapping a baby's bum in plastic just wasn't my thing. :-) Oh, dear and on that note, I'm going to post this and say.........
Have a good Monday! And Happy Birthday, Collette!


Pat said...

Sorry about your Aunt Marian's passing, but at least she was healthy and independent until the fall...and your last memory of her is a happy one. That is wonderful that you have her quilts, too. As for the disposable diapers, I, too, used cloth ones for the first child and also did use them a good bit for the second one (due to budget constraints). I liked the soft baby clothes and diapers after I washed them, but I sure don't miss the smelly diaper pail!!!

Crispy said...

Oh Sandi, I'm so sorry for your loss but what wonderful memories you have in her quilt!!


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Sorry about the loss of your Aunt. But what sweet memories. Thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

A lovely tribute and the quilt looks beautiful.

CreativeHands said...

Sandi what a great story...wonderful to read. I am sorry to hear about Marian. She leaves behind such wonderful memories. Have a wonderful day!!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Quilts have such great stories! Thanks for sharing this one!

BTW, all three of my babies (now ages 19, 7 and 5) were wrapped in cloth and I never minded washing the diapers. The only diaper rashes occurred when I had to put them in disposables for traveling. And besides, babies have a much cuter shape in cloth diapers!


Needled Mom said...

I love the stories behind these quilts. If only all the old quilts could talk.

So sorry to read about Marian's passing. Those hips are a tough thing to recover from.

Happy birthday to your daughter. Can you believe she is 40? I think I took our son's 40th birthday last month harder than any of mine. How did we get a kid that old?????

Like you, we used only cloth on our kids (unless we were traveling somewhere). I was citing the benefits to my daughter just yesterday as she is dealing with an 18 month old who likes to undo the velcro on his diapers and run around diaper free. Safety pins were not so easy!!!!!

Joanna said...

That's a beautiful post. I can see how appropriate the title of your blog is.

Catsngrams said...

I love the quilt and the story. I also used cloth diapers I never minded washing them. Yes when my last child came into being I used disposables do to the fact that I was working and going to school no time to wash. Lovely post.

Beth said...

Sorry to hear about your Aunt's passing and thank you for sharing her quilts with us. They are a lovely bit of family hitory and hold so many memories.
I remember the diaper pail. I used both cloth and disposable on my kids. (I would use cloth but DH would not use them).

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Well it is a lovely quilt and a lovely setting for a picture. Belated birthday wishes to Collette.

Owl Lady said...

Today's quilt on the clothesline reminded me of my mother. Nine Patch and Improved Nine Patch were her most common blocks, I think because she could use up her scraps of colors and prints and then, when she had accumulated enough blocks, she would set them together with white.
We used cloth diapers with our first child except when we went away from home. It was easier to dispose than carry a wet, sticky diaper home. When our second child arrived, she had red hair, blue eyes, and delicate pale skin. Once we left the disposables used at the hospital, we put cloth diapers on her, and within two days she was fussy because of a bright red behind. Back to disposables until it cleared up. Back to cloth and within two days, she was suffering again. We stocked up on disposables and gave the cloth diapers to a friend whose baby could wear them. Now the disposables we use with our granddaughter are even nicer, with resealable tabs. I used to carry a roll of masking tape so that the original disposables could be resealed after a false alarm.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
©SEA 2001-2011