Grandmother’s Quilts


Amish quilts on display before auction

The Thread that Binds

It’s been said everyone has a story, the secret is finding it. In fact, television programs have had entire segments comprised entirely of a random person’s story. Not only does everyone have a story, everyone has a quilt story.

It doesn’t matter if they quilt or not, they have a story.  Saturday I attended a marketing seminar in Tulsa.  Leon Mentzer of The Christian Storyteller, and  marketer extrondinaire, shared a quilt story with me after the seminar.

After looking at my book, and offering suggestions on ways to promote it, he then shared a story about several quilts in his family.

His grandmother quilted, and pieced by hand. An extremely frugal woman she saved scraps of fabric.  She often saved fabric from the unworn sections of an otherwise worn-out garment; fabric from the yoke of a shirt, or an unused pocket, the underside of a collar, if the fabric were in good shape it was saved for a possible quilt. Not only did she save this fabric, she took the time to cut it to a patch, then stitched around it to slow the fraying. Once prepared, she then added this fabric swatch to her stash.

Many quilters have a stash of fabric. Generally this is folded and stored in boxes or shelves. Leon’s grandmother didn’t have large enough pieces to fold and store on a shelf. She saved her patches in large trash bags, saved her scraps for a quilt-someday. After her death, the family found three large trash bags of fabric in her closet. Some of this fabric had dry-rotted, remember it had originally been used in clothing, however, much of the fabric was in good, usable shape.

The problem was, no one knew what to do with it. None of her daughters or daughter-in-laws quilted.  Leon asked for the fabric, it was more than a tangible part of his grandmother. It was a part of who she was.  He took the fabric to someone and asked that it be used to make as many quilt tops as possible.

Once the quilt tops were completed, another person quilted and bound them into usable quilts. Leon then presented the finished quilts to the female heirs of his grandmother. The women now have a true family legacy. They have a quilt made from fabric saved by their grandmother, mother, aunt, etc.,  preserved by her grandson. The stitching continues.

What’s your quilt story? Share with us?


2 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Quilts

  1. Sandy

    Love your stories. You are so right, everyone has a story about that special quilt from the past. I know when I pull out one of my Granny’s quilts, it takes me back to an amazing place and time. Now that I am quilting, I am in hopes that someday my quilts will transport them back to their special place and time.
    I was reading your info page and noticed you are in OK a lot, are you from OK? I will have to keep your schedule handy since I am in Skiatook might have to make one of your appearances.
    Thanks for the comment on my blog. Sandy

    1. Nita Beshear Post author

      Sandy, thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, I am in Oklahoma and I’d be happy to come to Skiatook, or the nearest large town. Talk to your local quilt store, or let me know if there’s a quilt show in your area. Nita


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