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The Permeance of Our Craft

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

My Heirloom Quilt

Every time I take up a new project, I can’t help myself from imagining the potential it has to outlast me. Though this may sound a bit existential, I am encouraged by the idea that things that I make now might spark joy in my grandchildren or even great-grandchildren—just as this quilt made by my great-great grandmother sparked joy, and so much more, in me!

Over the weekend, my husband and two sons took a trip down to my hometown of Cut Off, Louisiana, to visit my family. My 81-year-old grandmother surprised me with this beautiful quilt. According to Maw, the quilt was made by her grandmother, Sally McGee, who was born during the 1800s!

This vintage quilt is made up of 30 ten-inch squares and measures about 74 inches by 62 inches. There is some damage to the outside binding, but—considering it has withstood dozens of hurricanes, a fire in my grandparents’ house a few years ago, and over 100 years in the wet south Louisiana heat—it is in very good shape!

Here's a close up of some of my favorite fabrics. Even though the colors are not as vibrant as the ones we use now, a few of the patterns have certainly come back into style! I love the red and yellow flowers with green accents because it reminds me of an old, Hawaiian print—or of a vintage Hawaiian shirt I might pick up at the thrift store!

It goes without saying that there is certainly something special about this quilt being sewn by hand. Though I don’t think I’ll ever trade in my machine to hand quilt, the time and intention my great-great grandmother Sally put into this quilt is something I will treasure and admire forever.

Do you have a vintage quilt or a special family quilt that has been passed down? I'd love to see it! Post your pictures in the comments.

#vintagequilts #quilting #handquilting #vintagefabric

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