Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quilting Ancestry

When my mother passed, I was going through an old trunk and I came across an envelope with quilt patterns. I didn't really think much of it at the time, except that I am the sentimental sort and I had just started quilting, so I tucked it away in my sewing room.

I found it again today, and was much more enthusiastic about it.  The envelope was addressed to my Great Grandmother for whom I am named. My first name for her mother, my great-great-grandmother and my middle name for her.
Aletha Jane Sanders Wilson
 As was common for the day, it was addressed to her husband's first name, or initials in this case. He was commonly called W.T., but she called him Tom.
There was no date on it at all, but the stamp was only 1 cent. I couldn't find any reliable information on mailing a letter for that amount.  I looked for information on the pattern number and the 2500 series was copyrighted circa 1940. That would have been about the right time my gr-grandmother would have been quilting I'm thinking. In any case, I am excited to find these, but they are in such good shape, I doubt she ever used them.

Aren't they awesome?!! I love them and plan to try copying them and at least trying to make the blocks.
I never saw my grandmother quilt, (her daughter-in-law) and I'm assuming her arthritis was so bad by the time I came along, that she couldn't do needlework.
Willie Bearden Wilson
 My mom had a quilting rack, but I never saw her quilt. So, the bug has apparently trickled down to me. I'm one of four girls born to my mother and the only one who quilts.
Sue Wilson Brown and me
At one time I owned one of my gr-grandmother's quilts, but because my brother had nothing that belonged to our ancestors, I gave it to him. I have other things, such as her purse and a cameo broach she often wore. They are worth more than gold to me.

So, I've taken a stroll down vintage lane to visit my quilting ancestor, which I must admit has me just a little teary eyed. I wish I had been old enough to remember her when she passed away, but I was just a small child and we didn't live near her. I'm told she was a beautiful person inside and out and I hope I inherited a little of her, besides the quilting.
"Grandmother Wilson"

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