Quilting, Farming, Variety

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Flower Garden Quilt

"Listen in on any group of ardent quilt fans and you will hear frequent mention of this most popular pattern of the day and it is not hard to see why."  Romance of the Patchwork Quilt ~ 1935 ~ by Carrie A. Hall and Rose G Kretsinger.

After Mama retired from her town job, she devoted her "spare" time to quilting.  Of course she had made bed quilts most of her life, but first farm work, then town work, took away time from her quilting projects.  Her work was nicely done and soon there were women who wanted one of her quilts.  She began keeping a little notebook,  telling where the quilts went and how much they sold for.
The records started in 1980 and ended in 1987, a short time before her death.  By reading this page, you can see how little money she received for her work.  For instance, the quilt called Joseph's Coat, was sold for $250.00; it's one of the most difficult patterns to piece, and she did it all by hand.  Baby quilts were sold for $35-$50.  The total for this page is $1360.00; one would do well to buy one large quilt for this amount today.

At the time of her death, there were enough quilts in the closet for Daddy, my sister and me, and the six grandchildren to each have a finished quilt.  We numbered the quilts, then drew for them.  The Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt was chosen by Daddy before we drew.

 Now for the story of how the flower garden quilt came to be with me:

Daddy lived alone for about nine years before he remarried.  She was only four years older than me and four years younger than my sister, very outspoken and opinionated, so totally different than Mama.  We came to the conclusion that he married her because she told him she would take care of him so he would never have to go into a nursing home, and she thought he had money to take care of her.  (As it turned out, they both had to go into the nursing home, so the money soon was gone, and she passed away before he did.) Money issues did come up and he demanded that we bring the keys to his safe deposit box back to him.  We begged and pleaded for him not to do anything foolish, and that what money he had was there to take care of him later, but through her influence, he refused to listen.  Finally I gave in and let him have the key I had, but I told him there was one thing I wanted: the flower garden quilt.  He said "no I might need it".  Of course, the wife was in a huff by now too, so we left.  We talked a while outside, and then I said, "I'm going back in to get the quilt."  She hadn't locked the door yet, so we went in and I told her I had come back for the quilt.  She asked Daddy, and he said o.k. so she went to the closet and got it for me.  I've told my sister, she or one of her children,  can have the quilt; I don't need it, I just didn't want it to go to one of the "wife's" children and let who knows what happen to it.  So, it's still here; I don't use it, but it's a part of my mama with me.

For the most part, I'm not confrontational, but now and then I won't be stepped on. lol



  1. That little book and quilt is a treasure Charlotte. This brought tears to my eyes as I read it and like you I'm not one to cause problems but will not let people run over me either.. I'm so happy you have the quilt.. It's so beautiful and something to really cherish of your mother's. Thank you for sharing . Hugs and Blessings, xo

  2. I don't like causing problems either, but sometimes we just have to speak up because of the unfairness of life.

    I'm glad you got the quilt.

    Have a lovely week ~ FlowerLady

  3. Your mother's Flower Garden quilt is so beautiful. It's obvious you learned your quilting skill from a great teacher! My mother made so many quilts that every family member and friend has one. I don't think she ever sold one, just gave them away. I know that each and every one is treasured. I've never been afraid of confrontation....especially when it concerned my mother or my children! Hats off to you Charlotte!

  4. I am so happy for you Charlotte to have the quilt and the little notebook from your Mother. You were right with what you did. The quilt is so very nice and looks perfect in your home. I am sure your Mother would be proud too!

  5. I tend to be on the passive side, but I usually figure out a way to get my point across. What a treasure to have that little notebook with your mother's handwriting and notations. I always smile when I come upon something written by my mother. I feel close to her for a few moments. The quilt is wonderful and there is so much work to a flower garden. Wow! Now the question is who will get it next...

  6. Oh Charlotte - such a wonderful mother you had, and her work is outstanding to say the least. I totally understand why you did that, and I feel certain I would have done the same.

    I'm so totally mystified by what has happened to the quilts that my only grandparent, my mom's mother made, and like your mother everything was done by hand.

    After Mom was gone, we divided them between my brother, my daughter and myself. I have only two left now. One of them was made by my great grandmother, and she passed away in l924. I can remember sitting under the quilt frame when I was a child, and the ladies would be working away. Such a special memory.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  7. Good for you for standing your ground. The quilt is absolutely beautiful and a treasured heirloom for your family.

  8. I have always been in awe of your mother's work...and of her daughter's too! I am so glad you have the flower garden quilt!

  9. It is a beautiful quilt and I'm glad you have it.

    Remarriage and money doesn't usually seem to work out smoothly, does it?

  10. It's so sad, we hear of situations like this often. So glad you went back in and got the lovely quilt your Mom made. You have a wonderful treasure.

  11. If I die and my husband wants to remarry, I sure hope she's a good person. The second wife can really destroy a family. I'm sure glad you got the quilt.

  12. Loved this story
    and have similar one.
    My mother quilted most of her life and all my children and some grandchildren
    have her quilts. I have some in my closet. I sleep with one on my bed
    and always get tears in my eyes when I see "from mama with love" stitched on one end. Remember several neices have her quilts and at a reunion some were spread on the ground and tattered, so sad when so much work was put in them.
    Mine and my children treat them like rare objects.
    My mother remarried and at her point of death went to her home and picked up
    two more. My great grandmother, grandmother and mama always sewing
    and I am lucky if I can sew a button on :(

  13. I know for a fact that this quilt pattern is a very difficult one to do right. When a quilter makes one and does the pattern justice it is a testament to his/her piecing and quilting talent. You were wise to demand the quilt so as to keep it in the family. Stuff happens after a remarriage like that, and it's not usually pretty. Death of a person who has "things" or money brings out the worst in everyone. I used to work for an attorney and it wasn't uncommon for certain family members to break in to the house after their family member had died, in order to strip the house of anything and everything of value. So sad.

  14. Good for you! I am so glad you got it. I inherited a quilt from Charley's mother (well, she had three and this is the one Charley picked out for us to keep). She never made it, but I believe her husband's sister did. It is beautiful and I love it. She was a very good quilter. You can go here and look at it. The pattern names escapes me, but it is a popular pattern. http://janetsmart.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-newest-quilt.html

  15. What happened to the painting that is on the wall on the right side of this picture? Just curious about where it ended up. :(

  16. You Go Girl! I would've done the same. Those are very sweet memories and heirlooms of your mom... what a treasure!