Quilting has been an integral part of my heritage and upbringing. As long as I can remember, I have been involved in one dimension or another in quilting. My mother made quilts all the time I was growing up. Quilts were a necessity at that time and stage in life.
She did dark colored camp quilts that were tied in various methods. Even the lining was a darker shade of fabric and usually flannel because it is warm. Warmth was essential in these quilts and also, they should not show dirt or soiling. These were the quilts used by my father to take on the range and stay over night when Dad rode to check on or gather our range cattle. The quilts were packed into pack saddle bags and served for Dad’s bed out on the mountain. In the cold winter nights when no camping or cattle gathering went on, I appreciated the warmth of these heavy quilts in our drafty, unheated bedrooms. These quilts kept us warm and probably preserved our lives a few more years over the long haul of life.
The covering of these camp quilts was made from heavy wool fabric because wool is warm, wears well, and resists soiling. Mom cut large size blocks of four inches by eight inches. She arranged the blocks in different patterns. One of her favorite patterns was to set them in a diagonal arrangement running from corner to corner. The larger quilt blocks worked up more quickly and were still very attractive.
Mom found time during the long winter nights to mark, cut, sew and quilt. She also made colorful artistic quilt patterns using scraps left from her sewing. These quilts enabled her to use her personal talents and create works of art. She took pride in these lovely personal works of artistry. It was pleasurable for me to point out to friends at sleep overs and to myself in quiet hours, the original use of the cloth: a dress, a skirt, an apron or a blouse, etc.
It was also fun to bring a previous-made quilt and sleep under the on going work in progress on the quilting frames. Looking up from the vantage point of the floor bed, we studied the quilted lines and patterns. It was a time of peace and security and safety. All felt right
with the world.
In Mom’s empty nest, or nearly empty nest years, she created a quilt top for each of her grandchildren and in so doing passed to each one of them an heirloom and legacy of love. She even created an original quilt pattern of her own, the “Letter Edged in Black.” Our youngest son, Rett was blessed to receive one of these original pattern quilts. Rett and Darcy, his wife, treasure their heirloom quilt as do all of our children. Rett and Darcy have their quilt displayed on a lovely wooden quilt rack in the hall of their beautiful home. I am pleased to see the quilt valued and well cared for. Mom died December 28, 1991, but she left and inheritance of great value to her posterity and a strong link in the legacy of my quilting heritage.