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Friday, January 12, 2018
Quilts and Memories
One of our gifts this past Christmas was a quilt from Donald's parents.
When we opened it, I cried.
And later I started thinking about all the quilts we've been gifted (or that we've gifted ourselves), and how many of them have made me cry.
Donald and I are both fond of "old stuff."
Digging around in old boxes looking for antique locks and keys makes Don Barley a happy boy.
Finding a reasonably priced piece of old white ironstone makes me a happy girl.
Old oak furniture graces our home and makes it feel warm. We've had a lot of fun over the years searching out the pieces that we both have fallen in love with and felt would be "just right."
Donald inherited his love of old tools and old butter molds from his dad.
He inherited his love of old quilts from his mom.
And I inherited my love of old quilts from my mom.
Each quilt has a memory or a story. Each has comforted in the past, and comforts still - in a variety of ways other than keeping us warm and toasty on cold snowy days.
These quilts that hang over our bed bring me joy every single day.
The red Grandmother's Flower Garden was given to us by my mom.
It was originally a gift to her from me and my dad.
Mother's friend, Iona Wheeler in Cambridge, MD helped us get this work of art.
Iona's mother-in-law hand stitched quilts to sell, and my mom had always admired them, but the waiting list was long (and the quilts were more than my mom felt she could afford). Daddy and Iona worked things out and when I was about 10, we gave her this for Christmas. I will always remember the joy on her face.
When she decided it was my turn to have it, I cried. And I cherish it. I will always cherish it.
The Cathedral Window quilt hanging next to it is the quilt Don's mom gave us this past Christmas. (yes, yes, I cried).
This quilt has been with the Barley family for a long, long time. I remember oh, so gently removing it from the bed when Donald and I would stay the night with them for fear of somehow damaging it. It is,however, still as sturdy as it could possibly be, even after all these years.
The women making these quilts made them to be used - not just admired.
They made them to bring us warmth.
The quilts do that. And they fill my heart thinking of the hands working those tiny stitches while private thoughts filled their minds.
These quilts hang on the wall downstairs on a quilt hanger Donald made for me.
The Wedding Ring quilt was a gift to us from my mom when we got married.
Don's mother, Pearl, took Mother to see the woman who made it (the former wife of a former mayor of Roswell, GA) so she could choose the one she thought we'd love.
The one hanging next to it was a gift from Donald's folks one Christmas several years back. They found it in an antique shop in the North Carolina mountains. I don't remember the name of the pattern - - anyone know what it might be?
And this is a quilt we found on one our trips in the North Georgia Mountains. It's not an old quilt, but the hand done embroidery in some of the quilting squares seemed to speak to us both.
And this one is one we stumbled upon in an antique shop, but I walked away because it was during the time we had just moved from Atlanta to Boone and didn't have two extra pennies to rub together. Don Barley did a little bargaining and next thing I knew, we were owners of this proud piece, which I dearly love, and it hangs (when it's not wrapped over someone's legs) over the back of his Great Aunt Glady's old rocking chair.
And this one!
I do love this one.
It's a true Memory Quilt.
It's made from old Tshirts from concerts we've attended, and few other special memories.
And made for us by my much loved, admired and respected, sister-in-law, LeeAnn Barley.
Did I cry? Pfftttt.
Even though I knew she was making this for us, actually seeing it done, only guessing at how many hours she had spent doing this for us touched me deeply.
They're all about memories.