Thursday, March 6, 2014

Isaac and my Grandmother

Ad from County Capital
Returning from a trip to St. John one day, Isaac Werner stopped at a neighbor's house to borrow a sewing machine.  He did not mention the purpose for which he used it, but I suspect it was for mending, as he never described buying fabric.  He did, however, make banners for the People's Party parades, so that might have required a little stitching.

Maude Hawk's Quilt
Prairie women were often busy at their sewing machines, often making clothing for their families.  Every scrap of fabric was saved for other uses, particularly for quilts.  Occasionally special fabric was purchased to use with the scraps to make a special design, and the family quilt top made by my Grandmother Maude Hawk as a gift to my mother was of the second type. 

Students tour the quilt show
As I remember what my mother told me, Grandmother Hawk was working on two different quilts and gave Mother the choice between them.  Mother was young, and she liked the bright pink flowers of the one she chose.  The other quilt was a wedding ring pattern, and Mother came to realize later that it was a more intricate pattern, but she had made her choice, and I believe the wedding ring pattern quilt went to her younger brother, Junior.

Money was very tight in those times, and Grandmother Hawk had not purchased quite enough pink fabric to complete the quilt.  Later, when she bought more, the dye lot was slightly different, but over the years the pinks have come together in color.

Wedding ring & Dresden Plate

When Mother was in her 60s, Grandmother finally brought the quilt top to her, saying, "Pauline, I guess I'm never going to get this finished for you."  It was fortunate that the gift had been presented when it was, for Grandmother fell and suffered a severe injury that necessitated her entering the Clifton nursing home near Junior.  I suppose that was how Mother learned that the ladies at the Clifton Church did quilting, and she hired them to finish the quilt.  Before Mother's death, she passed it on to me.
Macksville Centennial Quilt

My mother-in-law Irene was also a quilter, often making baby quilts for children of strangers she had read about in the newspaper who were going through some personal loss or injury, but she also made many quilts for babies in her community.  She made several blocks of a fundraiser quilt made for the Macksville Centennial, and she wanted to win it back in the raffle so badly that we gifted her enough to buy 100 tickets.  She didn't win, but 25 years later, after her death, we toured the quilt show where that Centennial Quilt was again on display and enjoyed seeing the blocks she had done.  The photographs with this blog were taken at that show, a lovely display of both antique and modern quilts.

(Remember, you can enlarge the images by clicking on them.)

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

Quilting has gone from necessary hobby to really artistic hobby. I love to look at quilts done with so much care and imagination in the designs. Lovely quilts in your pictures.