As I got a little older I remember going to Grandma Lizzie's house where she took me to a little room off the kitchen and taught me how to sew on her old treadle sewing machine.. I own that old machine today and treasure it. I don't remember what we sewed. It was enough to just know I was SEWING! And those old machines wanted to go backwards if you didn't do it just right!
As I spent time with my Aunt Alean these last few years she would tell me stories of what she remembered growing up with her mom. She told me my Grandma Ruth Elizabeth who was always called Lizzie was known in the area she lived for her quilts. The ladies would get together and make quilts and that was probably their time of socializing. My dad called them "quilting clubs".
My Aunt Alean had several of my Grandma Lizzie's quilts and my favorite times were when I would spend the nights at her house and would crawl into bed and pull one of those quilts up over me knowing I was touching something my own Grandma touched and loved also!
Notice the hand stitching I have enlarged on one of the quilts? Beautiful and labor intensive! My Aunt Alean treasured these old quilts also and made sure they were displayed on the beds in the spare bedroom. There is a part of me that wishes I too was a quilter and lived in those days until I remember the hardships they lived through. Homesteaders had to be a tough bunch! So instead, I will treasure quilts made by those gone on before me!
Here's a picture of my Aunt Alean who has since passed away with one of my Grandma Lizzie's quilts. I have snuggled under this quilt many times in this bedroom. I use to tell Aunt Alean just to put my name on the door cause I was there so often. Times I now treasure as the memories we had together is all I have left. I miss her but know she is enjoying heaven and being reunited with her beloved husband and her mom!
My Grandma Lizzie also made the throw pillows on the bed.
I think of all the time it took to hand stitch her quilts. A labor of love for sure!
This old Chatty Cathy doll always sat first on the bed at my Grandma Lizzie's house and then later my Aunt Aleans. I believe my Aunt Alean made the hat and dress for this doll. I do remember it sitting on my Grandma's bed but was she was wearing is pretty vague in my memory bank.
I hope you enjoyed taking this little trip down memory lane. Quilts were an important part of life on the homesteads. Not only for warmth but they added color to a world that could use some cheer. I love old quilts and have several that I have found at auctions and flea markets. You will find I adopt their owners too as my ancestors.
I have made a couple quilts in my time. One I made with my daughter in law before she married my son and I have given that quilt to her hopefully to treasure and the other I still have. But I have also found with today's hectic schedules I don't have the time and patience to put into making quilts. Now, smaller wall hangings are a possibility!
Here's a picture of my Grandparents on the Hicks side. My Grandma Lizzie is holding my brother and my Grandpa Art is holding me.
And this is a picture of my Grandma Lizzie probably dreaming of the days gone by....
And one last picture of me with some of my Grandma Lizzie's quilts. Aunt Alean had moved from her home in Carthage following the death of her beloved husband and the Hicksie Chicks moved her into a house she bought in El Dorado Springs. We loved helping her unpack her treasures including Grandma Lizzie's quilts!
If you are fortunate enough to have had old quilts handed down from one generation to another consider yourself blessed. Old quilts are a treasure indeed!