May 1, 2023

A Stylish Quilt made by an Amazing Grandmother


I am fascinated by this quilt.  It was brought to me for minor repairs by the granddaughter of the quiltmaker.  (Thanks to her for the photo above.)  Not only are the design and fabrics really interesting, but the stories about the woman who chose them are great, too.

First, the design.  I don't remember ever seeing a quilt like this, with it's plain, all-white center panel with a frame and the deep appliquéd drop around the sides of the bed.  Have any of you seen such a quilt?  

My mind wants to place it in the 1960s and as a pattern found in a women's magazine of that era.

The fabric choices are wonderful.  No tiny calico prints for this lady.  The prints are larger and bold.  The flowers are more than 6" across, stylized and unusual. 



Here's what the owner told me about her grandmother:

I am so pleased that you want to write about the quilt.  Here’s all I know.  My grandmother had 14 grandchildren.  She made each one of us a quilt top.  My family had 4 kids and we grew up in Louisville KY.  I recall Mom telling me that she sent our quilts to eastern Kentucky to be quilted.

This grandmother was always sewing, knitting or quilting (when she wasn’t gardening, cooking or playing cards).  She was a dynamo, and is the only older woman of her era (she died in 1968) whom I can remember wearing slacks.  She even knitted herself Chanel style suits.

I realize I don’t have much info about the quilt itself!  But my grandmother was a character for sure.

I do think the quilt design and fabric choices line up pretty well with this lady's personality and love of making things, especially fabric things!

As for the repairs, not much was needed:

There was one flower that needed patching, as well as a couple of places with small, dark brown spots, and some areas of light staining. 

The owner was not keen to wash the quilt, and I pretty much always lean that way myself.  The light stains did not seem to be weakening the fabric, so we decided to let them be for now, at least until they showed signs of needing help at some point.  And I patched over the small places with the dark spots.

 before #1

 after #1

 after #2 (Sorry, I forgot to take a before....)

I found a great fabric for the one flower that needed new petals.  I used scraps from my first ballet recital costume, made by my Mom, in 1960 when I was 6 - which I actually still have!   That it goes so well in the quilt holds up my feeling that it's a 1960s creation.

Here are before and after photos of the patching.




Here's a photo of the patched flower and an original flower in a similar fabric.  Look how they are just so similar in color and style!

And here are photos of more of the cool fabrics.



Yes, I do love this quilt!

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