Friday, August 17, 2007

A Memory

Our family only had the one quilt that I can remember.

It was a crazy quilt and it was glorious. There was wool, and satin, and silk, and velvet and lace. The embroidery stitches were exquisite and I spent what seemed like gazillion hours looking at them. It is possible that the quilt was made in the early 1900’s as it fit the era and the style of the quilt. The binding was a bit frayed in places.

It was really warm and nice to cuddle under back in those days. With just a wood stove in the kitchen and a coal burning furnace for heat, any warmth was cherished during those very long cold winter nights.

When I would awaken during the night, I would run my fingers around and around the top, feeling the different fabrics and embroidery stitches. It was beautiful to me.

Hurricane Hazel destroyed that quilt on October 15, 1954. I was only 3 years old at the time. When the tail-end of the storm blew into Ontario and roared north to North Bay, our home was flooded out as we were living in a low-lying area and were not far from a creek. Our basement filled with sewer water and ruined everything stored in it.

Days (or weeks) later, Mom was showing a lady the basement and explaining that all the trunks had to go (my quilt was in one of those trunks) and I remember asking Mom, “What about the quilt, can we just wash it?” Unfortunately, we could not and that beautiful crazy quilt was no more.

Years later, I asked Mom who made that quilt. She did not know. Mom could never find a signature, or initials, nothing to identify who made it. No one on Mom’s side of the family ever made quilts, so it must have come from a relative on Dad’s side.

Today, when I make a quilt, my name and date is on a label and sewn onto the quilt. I want my descendents to know who made their quilt.

I wish I had that crazy quilt today. I wish …..

11 comments:

joyce said...

Too bad about the crazy quilt. It would be a real heirloom today. Thanks for the address for the bag tutorial. I have made a couple of them and there may be more in the works. So much fun and so nice when finished.

gwen said...

Such a sad story, but something to learn too. I always sign my quilts as well. Maybe you could try to make a similar one and write on the label your story! Thank you for sharing anyway. Take care.

Guðrún said...

How sad, imagine if you still had it.

Andrea said...

What a shame about the quilt. Just shows we should all label our quilts - I am bad at doing this - should make more of an effort I know !

Ila said...

My condolences. :o(

Perhaps your descendants will have a back-up if something similar happens to them. If not, get thee to your stitching room!

Have a good weekend

Connie W said...

Gosh what a loss. That's so sad.

Bren said...

Is there anyway you could make a replica from your memory? Even if it was not identical it could be comforting.

Colleen said...

I loved your story of your memory of your crazy quilt and about your past life experiences. Thank you for sharing it. I have some quilts made by my mother and grandmother that are priceless to me. You've inspired me to write a blog about them sometime.

Belém said...

We must learn with that story. Most of the times I don't sign my quilts but I will be more careful in the future.

corry said...

What a loss, who knows how many hours of work and love were in that quilt! From now on I'm going to label all my quilts, even the little ones. Thanks for sharing.

Ali Honey said...

That story is such a shame, but the good part is when you had the quilt you loved it, you enjoyed it you explored it's patterns and you remember it fondly!