Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Story Behind the Quilt

The Ashe County Piecemakers Quilt Guild had a contest to honor my book, Quilts in the Attic. Brenda Cole, President won Best of Theme. The photo is of her with her quilt. Brenda and I never got to connect while I was there, but we have now. Isn't the Internet a wonderful thing! I don't think I will ever tire of hearing the stories behind a quilt. To me, it makes the quilt more intriguing and complete. Here is Brenda's story and I hope it touches your heart as much as it did mine.

"My grandmother Rosalie was born in 1896 and lived in Ashland, Kentucky, most of her life.  She had 5 children – 3 of them girls.  She made quite a few quilts and planned to give a quilt to each of her 10 grandchildren.  Things didn’t turn out that way, but that was her intention.  She died in 1976.  I had visited her in ’73 and she gave me an “umbrella girl” quilt that she had finished and showed me another finished one.  In the 1990’s, my cousin had rounded up the remaining quilts and the girl cousins divided them amongst the 3 of us who had known Gran closely.  At that time, I ‘inherited’ the 12 Umbrella Girl blocks that my Gran had not made into a quilt.  I knew nothing about quilting at the time.  When we moved to West Jefferson, I took lessons at a local quilt shop (which is no longer in business). After all this time, I decided to put my Gran’s quilt together.  It was perfect for the theme of this year’s fair.  I was on schedule to get it finished in plenty of time, but my Mother passed away on Sept 8 and we had to “take her home” to Florida where my Dad was buried.  So I was racing to get my quilt finished in time.  As I worked on it, I was very much aware that my Gran’s hands had handled that fabric and made those stitches.  I could also see where she had left basting stitches in on a few of the “girls” and saw little pencil marks where she had planned the lay-out.  There was an error on one of the blocks which I left “as is” for historical accuracy.  It was a very special project for me because of all this.  When Scott Murkin picked mine as the theme winner, it was a wonderful ending to a very emotional three weeks.  This will always be a very special quilt for me because it was 70 years in the making and was done by my Gran and Me.  (My granddaughters also call me Gran.)"


  1. Thanks for sharing this. As always, thanks for all you share.

  2. What a lovely story about this quilt that your grandmother had made and you have now finished , it is lovely and so nice that it is now completed for many more generations to enjoy , great job on a beautiful quilt ! Sorry for your loss , I recently lost my Dad so my sympathies are with you .


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