Monday, February 21

What's on the line?

Today you will have to pretend that this quilt is "on the line"....................
I have quilts that I hung last fall and photographed, so I could share one of those but I just have to tell you about this quilt!!! It came to my door this past Saturday. It was lovely day with lots of sunshine and not too cold. It wasn't quite as warm as earlier in the week when we had temps in the 50's and lots of melting snow, but it was nice. While lots of snow has melted, I still can't get to my clothesline. And then....yesterday we got this............ more snow!!!
Getting to the clothesline is impossible! The snow was really pretty! I loved the way that it accumulated on the railing and my Christmas garland. Yes, it is still in place on my front porch and the lights are still lit. I liked the way the lights shine through the snow. Very cool. So, how much snow did we get............. about 12-14" ! My son-in-law joked that with all the melting we had last week, we were in need of "replacement" snow. And that's definitely what we got!! Did we really need it, though? Poor Kaiser, the Wonder Beagle, can barely walk in the stuff because it's very heavy, wet snow! Sure glad my husband bought that super large snowblower when we moved here because it will be put to good use today!
Enough about the snow..............back to the quilt. As I said, it came to me and I was not expecting it! The doorbell rang Saturday afternoon and it was my neighbor's Grandma. Her name is Ruth. I met her shortly after we moved her and when she found out I was a quilter, she told me about an old quilt top that she had and could never quite toss - although her sister told her she should because "what good was it?" She kept it, though, just like I would. :-) But now, she's "downsizing" her quilting things as she moves from a house to an apartment, and wondered if I wanted the quilt top? And, also, would I like her quilting books, mostly hardbound copies? Well, I said yes, of course!!! We went to her car and got the quilt top and the box of books. Look at all these books............
There is only one book in all of these that I already own and it's the Patchwork Quilting book on the upper left. I will share it with a friend who collects vintage quilting books. I was thrilled to see Grandma's Best Quilt Blocks in the box as it was on my "want" list. I put all the books in a stack and will use them as "porch reading material" when that snow melts off the front porch and summer finally comes. :-)
Now, again..... back to the quilt top. I loved it the minute I saw it! It's quite old, although how old, I have no idea. Go back to the top and take a close look at it. Double click on the photo to see it in detail. You'll notice something............all the tiny red/pink fabric is the same in each block except the block that says M.M. Bartlett. That name is stamped. So are a couple other names......S.G. Everett, S. E. Everett, and Ida J. Sherman. Most of the rest of the names are written in ink. In some blocks, the ink ate away the fabric so the name is sort of there but you can't read it. Some names are faded away to almost nothing. Others are quite vibrant and are written in elegant handwriting that I would guess is pre-1900. Here are a couple close-ups of blocks..........
This block says Sarah T. H. Munroe.

This one says Wm. M. Munroe.
This one says May & Willie Munroe.
Other blocks that I was able to read were Mary H. Hall, Sophia B. Ingraham, Eleanor Spalding, Sarah H. Spalding, Edward C. Spalding, Clara O. Spalding, and E. M. Haskett (may not be spelled correctly, it was quite faded and hard to read). I am intrigued by the quilt top and would love to know why it was made. Was it made for the person whose block was different? Who was M.M. Bartlett? A mother, a child, a friend? Where was the quilt made? I actually googled a few of the names and came up with some genealogy links with these names in Indiana and Michigan. Did the quilt top come west in a wagon and simply never get finished? Oh, how I wish I knew, but the quilt will hold it's answer and will never be revealed. I'm just glad it came to me and now I can add it to my family of quilt treasures and stories! Thanks to Ruth for ringing my doorbell and bringing me such a neat surprise on a winter afternoon!
Today is a holiday here in the U.S. It's President's Day. I should have made another block for my patriotic quilt today but instead I am working on a project made with batiks. It's something fun that I will share pictures of soon but it will be a few weeks before I can share the project. Then there was a mug rug project or two that I made last week and they are on their way to swap partners. Mug rugs are fun to make. They get finished and I like that! A tutorial for my coffee themed mug rug is coming up soon. Then another one in early March in batiks. Last week, I met my Tuesday Crazies friends for some lunch and I need to share those pics plus a project I did with my friend, Marianne, almost two weeks ago! I am working on things for an upcoming retreat and........oh, so many things to think about!! Lots going on these days and I've had trouble keeping it all straight. So, to help me "keep it all straight".........today is a day just for the batik project and when that is done at the end of the day, I will set the batiks aside and move on to the next project. Taking things one day at a time. Just one day at a time. :-)
Sandi

Just noticed that this is my 701st post. Yes, I do love to write. :-)

10 comments:

luv2quilt2 said...

What a wonderful treasure! I hope you're able to find out some of its history,

annemarie said...

This quilt is such a keepsake. I cannot believe all the "new" snow you got. The heavy, wet snow is the worse kind! Here in Texas it is sunny and 70's - really nice weather. I wish I could bottle some of it up and send it north.

Needled Mom said...

What a wonderful surprise!! They certainly knew who would enjoy it. Wouldn't it be fabulous to know the history behind it? My sister bought one off of e-bay and it ended up being a signature quilt of women from the small town in Iowa we were from. The names were all embroidered and it was wonderful to actually know some of the families. Small world!

I thought about you when I saw the snow coming your way. Oh man!

Dora, the Quilter said...

I am so happy that you are the beneficiary of the quilter's treasures! Love both the books and the quilt top. How nice that you were able to find information on some of those signers!
It really feels like this is a much-too-long winter!

Beth said...

What a wonderful old quilt. So glad it ended up with you.
Hopefully all that snow will be gone soon so you can enjoy your 'new' quilt books out on the porch.

Diane Wild said...

What fun to receive a treasured gift such as that quilt and the books. I, too, have the same book you have in that collection. In fact, I have 2 copies. I inherited both copies. One from a dear library patron who passed away last summer. It belonged to his mother. He also gave me a copy of "The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt" by Carrie Hall and Rose Kretsinger. I'm discouraged with all this new snow. Hope it goes away soon.

Lindah said...

701 posts! That's a lotta posts! BTW, I've been having difficulty bringing up your blog. Google Reader will not let me click thru so I can comment, but I can read and have been doing so. Today, however, I messed around until I finally could bring up your blog on my browser and have saved you to my fav places so I can get to you directly now. I hope.

The quilt with its names is so interesting. Not knowing the story(ies) is like having an itch that can't be scratched. :-) Perhaps it was a wedding memento? About 30 years ago, after my Dad had died, my Mom gave to me a stack of quilt blocks that had been made for her by the ladies of her church at the time of her wedding in 1935. Each block contained an embroidered signature and a word from Psalm 121. It is like a catalog of 20's & 30's fabrics. Likewise, it is like a family tree with the names of many kinfolk along with dear friends. Now here is the point I want to make. My parents' names are nowhere on this quilt nor is the date. So, it is possible that the name(s) of the recipient(s) of your quilt is not listed on the quilt. That makes it even more mysterious, eh?

Pat said...

It's great to get so many books that you didn't yet have, but how special to get that old quilt top. Doesn't it make you wonder about the folks whose names are on it?

Susan said...

The quilt is fabulous. Just like that, you could have a wonderful historical research project that leads to a book! That's how a couple of the Lipsett books started. My best guess, based on what you've said about how the names are inscribed, some being stamped, is that someone was leaving established family in the east and moving to farm new cheap land in the areas you mentioned. Those left behind made an album memory quilt for those going, but it didn't get finished in time. Once the move was done, there were too many demands on time for the top to ever be finished. If it was passed down in the family of the lady who gave it to you, maybe that would be a place to start, too. You'd be amazed at what you *can* find out!

cq4fun said...

http://www.amazon.com/Pieced-Ellens-Quilt-Spaulding-Letters/dp/0962939900/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298815325&sr=1-5


This book started out exactly the way yours could. Linda saw the quilt and began to research. She came to The Quilted Apple, dressed in period costume, and gave a wonderful talk about her research.

"Peace can be found in the piecing of a quilt."
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