If this quilt was discovered at a Goodwill shop most people would walk by, if it even made it onto the sales floor. It is over 50 years old, lots of stains, and even a small hole or two, but if I could only keep one quilt from my vast collection, this would be THE ONE. It came to me from my dear Aunt Mary Daugherty. Aunt Mary was the person who took the time to teach me to sew by letting me operate the petal on her petal powered machine before I was big enough to see the top of the machine if I stood on the floor. This taught me how to control the petal to keep the machine going smoothly. She would sit me in her lap to watch how she would feed the fabric through and eventually let me actually sew scraps together under her close supervision.
Aunt Mary was a very accomplished seamstress. She would let me pick out a dress I liked from the Sears and Roebuck Catalog and she would make it for me, usually out of beautiful flour sack fabrics. Back then flour and feed came in calico or gingham cotton fabrics that I thought was the prettiest fabric ever made.
As much as Aunt Mary loved her sewing machine all of her quilting was done by hand. When her only child married and was pregnant she made all the layette including many quilts as the old houses in East Tennessee were cold and drafty in the winter. One of the quilts was the tulip quilt pictured above. She was so proud of it because it was the first quilt she had ever quilted on the sewing machine. When I had my first son, John, in 1968 she gave the quilt to me and as you can see it was well used and loved by all three of my children. When they outgrew it I boxed it up and kept it through many moves, even from Tennessee to Florida in 1981.
I will complete the ‘rest of the story’ as Paul Harvey used to say, in tomorrow’s post.
Thank you all for reading my long story.