In the process of cleaning out Great-Grandma's house, I have been fortunate enough to receive many "craft" items. It is always a surprise to open the latest box and discover the newest secrets. During this past week just such and event occurred. I received a box from John's parents who, it seems have been cleaning out Great-Grandma's house for months. For them I am sure it seems as though I has been years. It is amazing the things one can collect after being alive 102 years (and counting). My latest box of treasures it seams is worthy of it's name. Because we did indeed find treasures. Great-Grandma has often told me stories about her mother, who was a hand quilter (as if there was any other type in the late 1800's). It seams more than once her mother tried to teach her to quilt but was always disappointed in her daughters craftsmanship. It seams Great-Great-Grandma was never quite happy with Great-Grandma's stitch size. The stitches were either to large, to small, to close together or to far apart. Needless to say Great-Grandma made up her mind to give up quilting at an early age. Just how early I never new. In this last package was a quilt. I knew it was warn and I knew it needed a good home so I agreed to take on the quilt. It is sad to say in poor condition.
I do have some work to do just to keep it in the shape it is currently in. Along with the quilt, I received a bag labeled simply "quilt patterns." In this bag was indeed quilt patterns as well as path that lead us to the discovery of the story behind the quilt. There were many other things in this bag catalogs, knitting and crocheting patterns, news paper articles, even homework and even the sixth grade report card of Great-Grandma's sister, Stella.
Now while Stella was no straight A student, she was an artist. You could see the beginnings of a love for art and craft even at the age of 12. The belongings in the bag spanned three years 1929-1931.
Their were drawings, notes and applique patterns for the quilt. The quilting pattern and even the carbon paper they used back then to transfer the quilting pattern to the quilt. We even had the original mailing envelope for the quilting pattern, complete with the 1 cent stamp! From the contents of the bag we learned that Stella must have succeeded where Great-Grandma could not. She quilted this quilt when she was in the 6th or 7th grade. It is amazing to look at this wonderful piece of history and be able to share it with my daughter. While I wish we could learn more, it is unfortunate that Great-Grandma's memory is not what it used to be, but I am grateful for the chance to save something that could easily have been thrown out.