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Quilts provide a legacy

I have come to realize more and more that quilts provide a legacy. When I was growing up my mother had a quilt on her bed that I think my father’s mother made. I loved that quilt. Often, I would remove her bedspread just so that I could see the quilt.

The quilt had squares that had fan-shaped pieces made of scraps of material. It was fun to find the pieces that matched. I hunted through the quilt and counted the pieces that were alike. That kept me occupied for quite a while. Although I did not recognize the fabrics as being remnants of clothing that she made I am sure that it was. Sometimes I would look for pieces that were at least the same color. Some pieces were solids while others were prints.

It was not a particularly pretty quilt but it was serviceable. I have no idea what the lining was. I do not know whatever happened to that quilt but by the time my mother moved to be near me she no longer had it. I wish that I still had that quilt but I suspect that some of the pieces wore thin so she disposed of it. The quilt was tied not quilted with stitching. I think the blocks were probably sewn on a machine. The only reason that I wish I had it is to look at the old pieces of material.

In my lifetime I have made one quilt. It is a wall hanging that my granddaughter and I put together. I saw a pattern on the HGTV network that I adapted and made. It had a house for every month of the year. My granddaughter helped me pick the material to use on each piece. I bought some new pieces of fabric, but also used some scraps from previous sewing projects. She was happy when she saw something that she recognized.

Each square had special things for the month such as hearts for February and red and green for December. The hardest months were August and September. I finally decided to give tribute to our county fair for the month of August since it always occurred in August. For September I gave tribute to my birthday. I bought some special buttons for decoration to enhance the quilt.

I liked doing the quilt in blocks because I could be sewing them while watching television. Each block was sewn by hand. I quilted after I joined the blocks together. I hope that my granddaughter displays this piece in her home someday. Anyway, we had a lot of fun putting it together.

I entered it in the fair the year that I completed it.

I think I won a third-place ribbon. I know that I got some money for it.

I did not think about how much I spent on the project. All I knew is that I really enjoyed it and so did my granddaughter.

That being said, I did make a number of baby quilts. They were fun because they were small. They were well used so I am not sure if any of the grandchildren’s quilts are still around.

When my daughter was young, I made a yoyo bedspread to go on her little bed. I bought a dust -ruffle and put the bedspread over it. I later added to that bedspread so that she had a cover for her larger bed. That was made with circles of cloth that were gathered into a circle, yoyos, and then put together to create the finished piece. I planned that piece very carefully so as not to repeat a material too often.

For this project I used all leftovers from former sewing projects. She told me she enjoyed finding the pieces where she could identify the clothing that I made.

Some materials were from clothing that I made for the children when they were small. Some were from Christmas gifts that I made for family members. There was a remnant that I made into a fancy dress for New Year’s Eve one year. It was made from brocade drapery material. No one the wiser when I wore it.

When I think of quilts, I think about the hard work that goes into them. They take a lot of time to complete. Talented seamstresses make many quilts in their lifetime. Planning to make a quilt is a real commitment. First, you have to choose the material. All of it should be of similar weight. Of course, it must be color coordinated. I am sorry, but making quilts is not for me. Although I have a lot of patience for other things, I do not have the patience to make a large quilt. I really appreciate the quilts that people make though.

I have no handmade quilts on my beds, but I certainly would like one. I know they are expensive, but in my mind, they are worth it because of all the materials that they take. It takes spools of thread as well as the original material. That says nothing about all of the hours that go into the making of it. It takes hours to quilt it alone.

As to the legacy of a quilt, each piece is put together with painstaking care. Without all of the stitches that hold it together, each piece would remain just a remnant of material.

A quilt is kind of like our country. Each of us is only a piece until we come together to create this great nation of ours. As we prepare to elect a president, I trust you will think carefully about our constitution. It was created by godly men who sought the best for this immigrant nation.

What do we want for this country?

When I was teaching the union always supported one of the candidates. I never contributed to this fund because I was more than a teacher. I was a farmer’s wife, too, so my interests were different than most.

Hopefully, once this election is over whoever is elected will have the cooperation of both parties. At that point we are one nation under God.

Ann Swanson is a Russell resident. Send comments to hickoryheights1@verizon.net

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