Monday, July 4
What's on the line? and a Happy 4th of July!!!
Today's quilt is very, very special. I've shared some photos of this quilt before but never "on the line". So, what makes this quilt so special? Well, it was made for my Grandma Golda in recognition of her time as President of the Ladies Aide Society at the United Brethren Church in Lehigh, Iowa. It was made sometime in the late 1930's. After my Grandma passed away in 1994, the quilt came to my mother and dad. And then when I was home to see my mom a couple of weeks ago, she said it was time that the quilt could come to me. I am so very happy to have this quilt. The names on the quilt are those of family and friends at the U.B. Church in Lehigh and at her sister church, McQuire Bend U.B. Church just north of Dayton, Iowa. I knew many of the women personally and watched them sew other quilts in the basement of the U.B. Church in Lehigh. It was those women who instilled my love of stitching. There's my Grandma Golda's (always called Goldie) name and so many others.
The name in the upper left is the name of my great great grandfather who was my Grandma Goldie's dad. His name was Noah. Her mother's name was Martha and she was a dressmaker. She had passed away before this quilt was made. And while, I don't think Great Grandpa Noah embroidered his name it is likely he wrote it and someone else embroidered it. Each of the names is written by the individual women who made the quilt. When I read the names, I recognize all of them but some are more significant than other's. Like the block next to Noah's. That says Elsie Linn and she was my grandmas' favorite cousin and then they married brothers and became sisters-in-law! Elsie died about two years ago and lived to the age of 105!
Some of you won't be interested in the names on the quilt but for those who know me and knew these women or their families, I want to share each name. And so next on the top row is Ilda Ford and then Mae Wertz and Alma Davis. The last name in the row is Marie Lind who was my Grandpa Thurman's sister. I am fortunate to have a couple of pincushions made by my Great Aunt Marie and also some pillows and her spool rack made by Aunt Elsie's husband Leslie. So are you keeping this all straight? LOL!
In the second row is Pauline Karasek, Regina Long, Violet Damstrom, Wanda Hacket, Blanche Linn, and Edna O'Dell. The third row begins with Lillie Linn and she was my Great Grandmother, mother to my Grandpa Thurman, husband of Grandma Goldie. She quilted and she made rugs and she gardened and oh, what a garden she and Grandpa Willie had!! The next block is Sylvia Groshart, my Grandma Goldie's younger sister. Next is Viola O'Dell, then Sadie Dutcher, Dorothy Dutcher and Madelene O'Dell. My Great Grandma Martha's maiden name was Dutcher so these were all cousins of Grandma Goldie. So were lots of the O'Dells.
In the next row, the fourth row, it begins with Rose Dutcher. I remember Rose well and her daughters. They were just a bit older than me, but they were so pretty! Next to Rose is Gertie Cutting, then Mary White, then Mrs. A. D. Trueblood, and Aunt Rachel. I don't remember Aunt Rachel but my cousin Charlotte talks a lot about her. Charlotte is our family member that keeps all the genealogy straight!! Last name in that row is Leona Baker. She lived just down the street from us on the other side of Harry and Dolly Harrington's house. I loved walked down the street to the grocery store for bread and milk and a 3 cent chocolate Lunch Bar. But I'm straying from my topic.........
Next row is Eileen Trueblood who was a good friend of our family. Her son, Dick and wife Pat, had three kids and lived about a half hour from us. We loved to "take a drive" and stop for a visit. Next name in that row is Myrtle Hamitt and then Ruth Heck. Ruth was a young woman in her early 20's when this was made. Her father was the minister of the church, the Reverend Lester Heck. As the years went by, it was my grandma Goldie who played for church and Ruth played the piano for Sunday School. I can see both of them sitting at that upright piano and playing on Sunday mornings. In fact, I have an old hymnal from the church and it was Ruth's name written in it. It is very worn and I suspect it's the one she most often played from on Sunday mornings. Ruth's maiden name was Linn and so her kids were my cousins.....Sherrill, Dale, Shirley and Janet. They lived "up over the hill" from us. I loved to visit because they were allowed to drink coffee with toast and because they had an upstairs bedroom with really lovely, comfy quilts. I can see that room clearly. Next is Carolyne Long, then Grandma's name....Golda Linn and the last name is Rev. & Mrs. C.L. Randall. I realize now that I am writing this that I do not know who they are. Perhaps he was the pastor before Reverend Heck came to the church. I'll have to find out! (Called my mom and found out that was the case.......he was pastor prior to Rev. Heck.)
The sixth row begins with Grace Brundage, then Nancy Culver, and Gladys Fritts. I remember Gladys very well. She was my Grandma's best friend. The next block says Cora & Lester and is the block of Reverend Heck and his wife Cora. Cora's maiden name was Linn and they were parents to Ruth. Next is Ophelia Linn. She and her husband and family lived on the other side of Leona Baker and with Ferris Curtis in between. Ophelia's daughter Bette is the one who coordinated our annual Linn Reunions before I began doing it in the late 1990's. Bette took it over from Ophelia. And thanks to that chain of family members we will celebrate our 82nd Linn Family Reunion in just a couple of weeks. Last name in that row is Dorothy Barker.
The final row begins with Marge Whipple. I have this vague memory that she was postmistress in Lehigh. I'll have to check that and make sure it is fact. Maude Richardson is next and I remember her well. Maude was active in our Bible School activities. I think she was one of my Sunday School teachers. And now my own memory is beginning to fade! LOL! The next block says Bessie Ech. which is short for Echelberger. Then comes Aunt Alice, Berneice Carpenter and Pearl Goodpaster. Berneice is another of the ladies that is very familiar. Her daughter, Margie, was our babysitter. I could go on but as mentioned, these names don't mean much to most of you. I love the thought that these women put their names to this quilt and that their "Legacy of Stitches" remains for me to enjoy and share with all of you. Most of the quilts the Ladies Aide made were sent off as mission projects. My mom can remember having a couple of quilts that my Grandma Goldie made but because we used them, they just plain wore out. Interestingly, there is another quilt owned by my cousin Patty, that has many of the same names on it. That quilt was made for my Aunt Lottie. And now that I think of it, it's odd that Lotties' name isn't on this quilt. I suspect that maybe Lottie wasn't living in Lehigh when this quilt was made. Another fact, I'll have to check on when I go home for our Linn Reunion.
I'm really happy to have this quilt and to know I can share it when I do a program on my quilts. It's a special gift to have it and I will take good care of it while it makes it's home with me. Sharing it today is also a bit special. My Grandma Goldie just loved the 4th of July and going to Gowrie for the parade and the Bill Riley Talent Show held in the park. I have a clear memory of her sitting on a park bench one 4th of July as she waited for the show to begin. If any of you are from Iowa, you know just how special Bill Riley was to the state of Iowa and county and State Fair events. It's been many years since I attended that parade and celebration in Gowrie but I have great memories of those times. Memories are still being made today by lots and lots of moms, dads, grandparents, kids and more. Hope you are making some happy memories today! Happy 4th of July to all of you celebrating Independence Day! Have a great day!!