Today's post is about a quilt I received as a gift from my sister, many years ago. I had gone to her house to help her clean out a room full of stuff, that had been left there by the old Dorcas Society. When we opened the door I couldn't believe what I saw. Bags of clothes and things literally crammed to the ceiling, filling up the room to the very door.. The old house had very tall nine or ten foot ceilings, so you can just imagine how much stuff was in there. We worked the better part of a day trying to make a dent in the heap, and it was just plain crazy.We had such a blast, it was like some kind of clothing archeological dig. There were clothes dating back twenty or thirty years, with some crazy fashions and fabrics.
I asked her where on earth all of the stuff had come from and she told me it was mostly donated from the ladies of Klickitat to the Dorcas Society, which used to be run out of this old house. I told her I thought Dorcas stuff was supposed to be given away to the poor, but this looked more like a hoarders nest. She had to agree, which is why she was determined to get rid of it all to Goodwill or other charity organizations, so she could make use of the room.
Believe you me I was pretty tired after a day spent sorting and re-bagging old musty clothes, but as I was getting ready to leave, she pulled out of a bag this old lap quilt. She said she didn't want it and would I like to have it for all of my hard work? Never one to turn down a quilt, since we lived in snow country, I accepted her offer and took it home with me. This was back in 1979 or so and I knew next to nothing about old quilts or how they should be treated. Many a time, over the years, this quilt has been tucked around one of my young children on a chilly night or thrown across my husbands lap while he sat in his favorite chair. You might say it has been well used, if not well loved.
It wasn't until very recently that I even remembered still having it, and was very surprised when I came across it in our backyard storage, otherwise know as our large shipping container.
I did a bit of research and found out it was made in a Glorified Nine Patch pattern, that is measures 52" x 60" and its quilt fabrics date from the 1930's or thereabouts. How it came to be tied together with modern acrylic yard and filled with fat modern batting is a question? I think it was probably finished as a top long years before it was finished. It may even have been donated as only a top and finished by the women of the Dorcas Society. As a utility quilt it has certainly served my family well, but now I shall always cherish it for the memory of that hilarious but labor intensive day I had with my sister.
That is why I would date some, if not all of the fabrics, to the 1930's.
I hope this inspires you to have a look around and see what old quilts you may have, which could bring with them lots of memories.