Monday, August 31, 2015

My Favorite Quilt

My mother-in-law's family has quilted forever.
 When you had a large family in early Texas,
homemade quilts were a necessity.

Here is my favorite quilt, made by her side of the
family. Perhaps you remember she comes from a
very large family...10 girls and 2 boys.

 Depending on how I fold it up, the quilt can be
quite soft or quite dramatic, but always colorful!
  Taking center stage is the square made by
"Mother" Mattie Savage, who lived to be
almost 100 years old despite having 12 kids.
My mother-in-law has agreed to tell me the
story of each person who created a square as
soon as she's had a chance to recover from
her latest hospital adventure.
 In the meantime, I keep the quilt tucked away
in my sitting room with the chicken pillow to
keep it company.
I know some of the ladies who made the squares,
and some I've never heard of. 

 There are a few people I can't wait to hear the
story of...bold AUNT TILDA and MITTIE are
at the top of that list!

Those are some pretty bold colors they
chose, considering it was probably early
1940's when this quilt was done.

I know that because my mother-in-law and
her sisters signed their quilt squares with
their maiden name Savage.
All except for Aunt Nola that is...who used only
her first name. She was as flashy as the bold
red material she picked out!
 Nola was a hairdresser with her own shop.
She liked makeup and jewelry. Lots of jewelry.
Could you tell by the square she made?
 I'm looking forward to hearing about soft Grace

 ...and sturdy Opal. 
Looks like Opal wanted her signature to last...
 When my mother-in-law gave me this quilt,
I struggled with how to clean it. It had been
packed away for a while and stored. I'm very
allergic to dust mites, so clean it I must.

I was going to have it dry-cleaned, but then thought of
the horror stories I'd heard about old wedding gowns.
 Who wants to be known as the family's quilt killer?

There's a quilt shop in another small town close by.
I planned to talk to the shop owner to get a ton
of instructions on the do's and don'ts.
 Then one day, while reading the signatures, it came
to me that these ladies used rugged stitches and
cloth of their day, and they had wringer-type washers
back then that must've crushed the hell out of stuff...
they were probably laughing at my panic and
indecision right now, from their sewing circle on high!

So I got out the Woolite, set the modern machine
on delicate, and said a prayer.

I'm happy to say we both survived.

Thanks for dropping by!



  1. Your quilt is beautiful ! I have several of my grandmothers and have always washed them in the washer!

  2. Rivercrest Cottage,
    I'm happy you both survived, too!!!
    I wash all my quilts, heirloom or store bought in my washing machine. Warm water, delicate cycle, fabric softener and dry on low heat!!! They come out "perfect" every time!!!
    I have been told NOT to leave them folded for too long of a period, as it can break down the stitching.
    Thank you for sharing this fabulous favorite quilt!!!
    I'd be anxious to hear "The Rest of The Story" when it becomes available!!!

  3. What a fabulous legacy they've left. Good luck with gathering information.

  4. Your beautiful family quilt is such a treasure! And the "mother" square is so pretty in pink and dainty! So glad it survived the wash! ;)

    Thanks for visiting me! Hope you'll pop back over soon! Take care! ~Rhonda

  5. Your beautiful family quilt is such a treasure! And the "mother" square is so pretty in pink and dainty! So glad it survived the wash! ;)

    Thanks for visiting me! Hope you'll pop back over soon! Take care! ~Rhonda

  6. It's a beautiful quilt! How wonderful to have something like this with the names of the women who put it together. Truly a treasured family heirloom!

  7. I love the quilt and the story behind it. There's just nothing like owning an old quilt made by somebody in the family. That one is really pretty.

  8. A quilt that comes with a story is double the pleasure and this one is a beauty.

  9. What a beautiful quilt and the stories behind it. I hope your Mother-in-law gets well soon.

  10. I'm so glad that you had success cleaning your quilt! What a treasure! When I find an old quilt at a giveaway price I find it so hard to pass up. I found a very very old one for ten dollars that needed a wash so badly. Even with a gentle cleaning, one end frayed badly, but I felt I could display it after that. It was really unusable without the cleaning anyway. Yours has a wonderful history!

  11. Hi :)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. What a wonderful treasure she gave you! I would have panicked at washing it too, even though I wash all my vintage stuff in the machine. I wouldn't want to be the family quilt killer either LOL Glad it came out okay though :)

    Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog.


  12. This is a beautiful quilt! I love quilts and wish I knew how to make them! I like them so much better than what you can buy at the store :) How special that you have this one with such a sweet story!

  13. Your quilts are so beautiful! I don't have any old ones but yours are truly a treasure.

  14. What a treasure to have and to find out the stories about all the women-glad the quilt survived you washing it!

  15. What a gorgeous family heirloom!- a true legacy to all the strong women that participated in such a beautiful quilt.
    Oh - I'd love to have something like this - how blessed you are to have inherited it !