Posted by: Diane | April 19, 2013

Old quilt

I did a little maintenance work today.  On an old quilt.

It’s an old square quilt that was my mother’s that we use for a picnic blanket.  It’s not a large quilt, about 4-5 foot square-ish, but it’s a handy size for utilitarian purposes.

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It was residing in the trunk of the car, because we would use it when we went to Movies in the Park last summer to sit on the ground while we enjoyed the movie.  The trunk got cleaned out when we traded the car in and I took the quilt and tossed it in the washer.  When I took it out of the washing machine, I noticed that the batting had shifted and bunched in a few places.  Now, I call it a quilt, but in truth, it isn’t quilted.  In fact it’s not even tied off except for around the edges, I guess just to tack the batting in place.  So, I decided to tie it off to prevent the filling from shifting around.

As I looked at this quilt and gently shifted the filling back in place, the sun happened to shine through it and I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before.  There was actually a quilt inside this quilt.  The batting was made of an old scrap quilt that had been repurposed into this new blanket.  Perhaps it was even the best usable remnant of a larger quilt that they turned into this handy little picnic blanket.

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Since my mother and aunt were coming for a week-long visit today, I decided to ask them about this quilt and where it came from. My mom said that my grandmother had made it from feed sack material and that she knew about the quilt inside, and thought it was one of their baby quilts. About that time I held it up to the light coming in the window so that she could see the quilt inside and she said “Oh! I remember that quilt! I remember seeing it on a bed!” So I think it was actually part of a larger quilt. The discussion then turned to other quilts that they remembered including one they called the “dolly quilt” which sounded like a very small quilt that was meant to be used for their baby dolls, and another quilt that was white with a red ruffle with appliqued cherries on it.

So the quilt is now all tied off, though perhaps I could have done a more neat and precise job of it. That feed sack material is pretty tough stuff, because there isn’t a single hole in it and the colors are still bright. I bet it could hold up for at least another half century if we take care of it. Amazing to think that in this age of “throw away” goods and crazy consumerism, I’m still using a blanket that my grandmother created out of recycled materials, some of them TWICE recycled!
Thanks, Grandma…

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