Friday, January 16, 2009

The Grandmother's Quilt

I am the keeper of a quilt that we call The Grandmother’s Quilt. It’s a much loved and worn warm cover, a bit tattered in places, thin in others and faded. My great-great grandmother, Nancy Shutts, who was born around 1850, made it.

I’ve heard that she was a great quilter making stacks of quilts from clothing used by her family. She lived into her late seventies making quilts for her six granddaughters. My Great Aunt Sadie told stories of sitting on the front porch watching her grandmother quilt.

There’s a sweet family story that’s come down to us about how Nancy Shutts wanted a daughter more than anything but was childless. She went to a poor fatherless family of a dozen or more children asking if she could adopt one of the daughters. The chosen one was Elizabeth who was about six at the time. When her birthday came around her newly adopted mother asked what she wanted for her birthday. Elizabeth asked for her little brother, James, because she was so lonely. So they hitched up the horses and went over and got the little brother.

I can remember sleeping with her old quilts in the 1950’s out in the barn on her farm. There were a couple of trunks filled with quilts in the house and we could take our pick. I usually took two because the hay was pokey and picky to sleep on. The trunks with the quilts were kept in the farmhouse long after Grandmother Nancy died. Sadly, the farm was robbed sometime around 1965 and most of the quilts were taken along with the farmhouse antiques. Ours is the only one of Nancy’s quilts to survive because at the time of the robbery it was on the bed upstairs. I wonder if this wonderful woman had any idea that more than 125 years after she made her quilt it would be hugging generations down the years?


1 comment:

A Week's Worth of Women said...

Such a warm and comforting piece, just like the I imagine the quilt.