Friday, October 24, 2008


My sister is an "old school" quilter. She will machine piece the blocks,
but always hand quilt to finish. No machine quilting for her! I cannot imagine how many quilts she has made over the years. Actually, quilting is a family tradition from back when quilts were utilitarian and never did they buy fabric for them, using what was available in the home. Our Aunt Lily worked for a time in a corset factory and brought home scraps of fabric to use for quilts. Real blankets were rare. We just layered on more quilts as the winter got colder. No central heating back then.

Photo one is my sister in her easy chair That's our dog "Rosie" at her feet. She used to make a "Reunion Quilt" to be given to one lucky family at the annual family get-together, which was held in either Vermont or Connecticut . The value of such a quilt would be in the hundreds of dollars. I doubt if the winners knew that it took the better part of a year to plan and complete one of these. The second photo is a flower one won by Cousin Harriet. One year there were only kids quilts. Three, I think, divided into age groups. Those children who did not win got a pillow with a quilted top. The second picture is one of those quilts with Cousin Tiny and her husband, David holding it up.

The third picture is not a reunion one, but a gift made for our cousin, Ann. It is called "Who Let The Cows Out". Ann is a dairy farmer so it seemed appropriate for her. The fourth quilt is "Family Ties". Every one was asked to donate a tie to be used in the Reunion Quilt. This was a beautiful one and went to Texas when it was won by our cousin Charlie's daughter. One year, all families were asked to design a block representing their family. Some did interesting ones and others sent photos for us to design for them. We did the best we could, using a farm theme for Cousin Ann and a Vermont one for Cousin Harriet, etc.. This one went to our cousin Harold's son here in Connecticut. He designed the flag block. There were a lot of photos in this one. We had learned how to print on specially prepared cloth . These quilts were meant as keepsakes to be handed down to the next generations. Hopefully, some will be used that way.

More often than not, the reunions were held in Vermont. A couple of times, they were held in the Senior Center which used to be a one room school house. We always enjoyed the chance to go up to Vermont to visit with our cousins.
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