Sunday, November 9, 2008


I spent the day at my grandmother's and came home with a box of whimsical, charming early twentieth century fabric love.

I always knew there was a seamstress and a quilter in the family, but I never who, when or where.

During the depression, my grandmother and her mother lived with the previous generation - the seamstress and the quilter. My great great grandmother, Ella Armstrong Coon made quilts from the fabric scraps left over from Clara's (her sister) work making clothes.

Clara started this quilt in the 20s, my great grandmother worked on it in the late 40s, my grandmother has worked on it on and off and I'm bound to finish it...

When she gave me the remainder of the fabric, it came from a box filled with other piecework...

Most were done by Clara, but we think these two were done by Ella, who would see something in a magazine and do it, just to see if she could.

Each piece is hand-stitched and many were done in the evening by kerosene lamp - grandma told she remembered sitting by the radio in the evening with them and working on quilt tops.

Other pieces weren't as well stitched, but the color play is amazing and the fabric itself is beautiful.

In the box were pieces that were almost complete...

and pieces waiting to be put together.

We have about 20 of the above pattern - and I think I'm going to hand-wash each one and mount it on padded muslin that can be framed - with the story about where these pieces came from for each of the descendants of these women.

We number about 20 - so I think there is more than enough of these brilliant pieces to shared.

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