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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Legacy of Lovely

I've told you before about the family legacy I have in fabric and thread.

Now that the card reader for my camera has arrived, I have pictures to show you.  Sit back, relax and prepare to be amazed.

This is the Rose Weeks quilt.  
Rose Weeks was my great-great grandmother on my Grandpa White's side.  She died in 1903.  We don't know exactly when, but at some point in her life, she made a quilt for each of her children.  She had two sons who never married and they put their quilts into their trunks and never used them.  When these uncles of my Grandfather passed away his mother (the uncle's sister-in-law) took the quilts home and kept them.  Only after she passed away and my grandma helped to sort through her things, were these quilts discovered.  One quilt was given to my grandpa's brother and his wife while my grandpa and grandma kept this one.

Grandma took this quilt to a quilt show in 1983 to have some experts look at it.  They were amazed that this quilt was in such good condition.  Also, they praised the uncommon workmanship and seamstress ability that Rose Weeks displayed.  Every bit of this quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted.  Every point on those triangles matches exactly.  It is a work of art.

At the time, Grandma didn't know the name of the pattern.  The local newspaper wrote an article with a photo about the quilt.  A woman from Washington State wrote to my grandma and told her the pattern was called "Path In The Woods".

If we have to guess, we would estimate the time period of this quilt to be just after the Civil War, possibly as late as 1880.  What makes this quilt even more rare is that it is not a scrappy quilt.  It is made in a two colorway which is not typical of that time period.  The majority of quilts were utilitarian and used scraps and various fabric types.  These types of quilts during that time would have been expensive to make and an extravagance for the quilter.

 This is a Lydia Gaub quilt, my great grandmother on my Grandma White's side.
Notice the more utilitarian style, there are silks, flannels, twills, and cottons in this quilt.  The four patches made use of even the smallest scraps.  This quilt is hand pieced and hand quilted, probably in the 1920's or early 1930's.  This quilt has been used, most likely to warm a family member's bed during the Depression.

This pinwheel pointed star quilt is also a Lydia Gaub quilt.  The date is might be the late 1930's, but probably the 1940's.  Even though it is a scrappy type quilt, the solid color background tells me it was made at a time when my great grandmother had money to spend on background fabric.  This quilt is not used and is in excellent condition.  Also a sign that it was made after family members left home. 

 This is a Christine Schaible quilt, my maternal grandmother.  Grandma Schaible was a huge fan of applique.  All of her quilts were appliqued, some also contained a small amount of embroidery.  If I have an appliqued quilt, this grandma did it.  No one else did it!  Her quilts are all hand appliqued and hand quilted.

See?  More applique.  That's Grandma S.!  Both of these quilts were probably 1970s or 1980s.

This quilt was on my bed in the basement of my Grandma White's house.  The style is extremely practical and it is actually a duvet cover with a thick cotton comforter inside.  Warm as all get out!!  Even though it isn't the art piece the other quilts are, this one has such wonderful memories for me that I treasure it just as much.  This one is probably a 1950s or 1960s era quilt.

I found this alphabet sampler and couldn't figure out who it belonged to.  I texted a photo of it to my mom who called me, laughing.  "That was my first quilt!"  She was learning to embroider and her mom helped her get started and then pieced the blocks for her and quilted it.  Knowing my mom as an excellent seamstress and embroiderer, it was a very pleasant surprise to see her beginning work!

That's it for the quilt show!

Now, let's look at the crochet and tatting...

This is a large table cloth that my Grandma Schaible crocheted.  It is close to 104 inches long and 60 inches wide.  Each stitch is so small and delicate, there is literally miles of crochet thread in this table cloth!

This is a doily also from Grandma Schaible.  My grandma was VERY prolific and had piles and piles of beautiful finished work.  I just took a couple of photographs to share with you...

This is a bedspread, for a full-size bed!

This is a doily tatted by my great aunt Emma.  Tatting is a form of lace making and my beloved great aunt was a master.  She tatted a doily that her friend convinced her to enter it in the Open Division of the Home Economics exhibits at the state fair.  She not only one Grand Champion for hand work, she won Supreme Champion for all of the Home Economics entries!  The next year someone asked her if she was going to enter something else.  She said with a smile, "Why?  There's nothing else to win!"

 And lastly (but certainly not least), these gloves were crocheted by my Grandma Schaible (see, I told you she was prolific!).  They are amazingly delicate and so beautiful.

Did you enjoy the brief tour of my textile history?  What was your favorite piece?


  1. Oh my goodness - what a heritage! Isn't it great that these quilts colour your knowledge and understanding of your forebears. All of the quilts are amazing, but it's the lace and tatting that blow me away - there's just so much of it! My grandmother used to tat, and I remember how much string (thread?) goes into it.

    No quilters in my background - though both my mother and her mother were wonderful seamstresses - my mother of the perfectionist, follow the pattern school, my grandmother the what can I make out of this much fabric type - a reflection of when they mastered their craft - one in the Depression, one in the prosperous '50's. My Mum did make 2 quilts (machined), using scraps from all the dresses she'd ever made me - enough to make two twin sized quilts, which she completed with ruffles around the edge. She struggled to finish while succumbing to the onslaught of her brain tumour, dying a few months later, when I was pregnant with our first daughter. How did she know I would have two girls, tailor made for pretty quilts with ruffles?

    1. That story simultaneously brought tears to my eyes and gave me goose bumps. Amazing!!

  2. So Beautiful! I love them all. Treasures for sure! ~ Jess

    1. Wow, Annie! Those are gorgeous!! So glad you shared photos with us. I would never be able to chose one I like. They all are great. A real treasure to hang on to. This is something totally priceless!

  3. Yes, I did enjoy it. All were beautiful. I particularly like the Rose Week quilt. What a work of art. And I thought the pink applique quilt was pretty. The crocheted bedspread must be something beautiful to see on a bed. I have done a bit of quilting. I was just starting before the youngest two children arrived. I haven't found the ambition or time to do it since. But I am pretty sure I will never be in the caliber of the quilters you have mentioned.

    1. But we can't let that stop us! I can't adequately describe what a delight it was to see my mom's first embroidery quilt. It is PRECIOUS to me because she made it, not because it is a work of art. Maybe it's just a woman-thing, but it is an amazing feeling of connectedness to hold the fabrics my ancestors held and poured hours of their life into. And that's the reason I continue to make time for my handwork. I no longer choose big projects like I did in my single days, but smaller ones that I can work on while we drive or in my chair watching the kids play. Start again, Kimberly, I guarantee your kids will thank you!!

  4. As a person who tats, I have to say the tatted doily really made me go WOW! I know the work one of those entails. Thanks for sharing.


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