Wednesday, 29 July 2015

My Grandmothers Patchwork Quilt. ("Still keeping us warm.")

Here are a couple of photographs of my grandmothers patchwork quilt.  We have about 7 of them.  My grandmother died in 1971 and the quilts are still keeping us warm in winter.  The quilts were all hand sewed and must of taken months if not years to complete.

The were made back in the days when they didn't have television and the radio ("wireless") was only turned on for the six O'clock news and the weather.  I suppose it was a labour of love and something to occupy herself during the long dark nights.  Here in rural Ireland the nights are already drawing in and it won't be long before it's pitch black can't walk about at night.  We don't have street lights and it's too dangerous to walk along the main road with cars whizzing past at night.


 I often wonder how they occupied themselves during the long nights.  I suppose they would hand milk the cows and have the"supper" and wash up and stock "redden" the range up with logs and turf and settle down in a comfy chair for the evening.  

I can just picture my grandmother sat there ruining her eyesight hand sewing the quilts.  Ours have blankets inside them.  My wife thinks my grandmother covered the blankets to make them look more colourful and attractive rather than bland looking blankets.  

My grandfather would probably be smoking his pipe looking into the fire.  Perhaps reading the Cork Examiner for the twentieth time that week.  I get withdrawal symptoms if I can't look at the Internet.  

I think it's wonderful that my grandmother is still keeping us warm after all these years.  Thanks grandmother!




22 comments:

  1. Beautiful quilt, and what a wonderful useful heirloom. I hand sewed a double-bed sized quilt through the dark evenings of November to April. It was my way of coping with the death of my parents (I used fabrics from my mum's stash and her thread and embroidery silk for the actual quilting) and my children leaving home to go to university. It was wonderful therapy and as a side effect introduced me to Blog Land, which I had no idea existed prior to last autumn!

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    1. Welcome and thanks for commenting on the blog Home Slip. What a great introduction to blogging and coping with your parents bereavement (I know the same loss) and learning a craft and coping with the long dark evenings.

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  2. Such a beautiful quilt. I still patchwork and have made many quilts which I hope will keep my children, their children etc warm in the years to come. It's a wonderful old tradition that am happy to say is still going.

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    1. H BG. Your patchwork sounds wonderful and it's great to see their purpose in keeping your grandchildren warm. It is a wonderful tradition BG.

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  3. Growing up in the 50's evenings were spent sewing, I learnt to sew at a very young age, knitting, listing to the radio,and playing board games, my mother was into all sorts of crafts which I learnt from her, my Grandfather was a carpenter and he would often sit by the fire whittling away or constructing things. We were lucky we had electricity, my husband on the other hand had no such luxury, evenings for him were spent reading talking drawing playing cards and listing to his mother playing the piano if she wasn't knitting or sewing, sometimes his father would read poetry to the children. The word 'bored' had not been invented then.

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    1. Hi Anne. I have heard the old people talking about how people use to do the 'scraitin' (is that the correct spelling) when neighbours would walk through the fields and up the boreens and visit their neighbours, to drink. conversate, play cards and borrow the proverbial 'cup of sugar'. Wonder what they would think about cars, television and the Internet?

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  4. It is such a lovely thing to have.

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    1. Hi CT. Yes it it is a lovely thing to keep us warm and the stitching is like looking at my grandmothers writing, if you know what I mean. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks Deb. They are something to treasure and pass down to future generations, hopefully!

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  6. What a beautiful gift, and such a labour of love :) xx

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    1. Hi Undomesticated Diva. We have seven of thev quilts. Some of them got posted to England and we brought them back with us when we moved her fourteen years a go. I hope this post inspires others to make patchwork quilts. Thanks!

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  7. Hi Dave, that was a lovely post and a tribute to your skilled Grandmother. I just love how these wonderful items tell and re-tell their stories over the year and keep you warm too!

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    1. Hi Linnet. I am glad you enjoyed this post. You're right the quilts are story tellers. Wonder what heirlooms our children will cherish of ours. Maybe my little Ford tractor. Thanks!

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  8. What lovely quilts, ....an inheritance of love I think.

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    1. Hi Vera. Yes it's an inheritance of love. Hopefully future generations will be get warm with the quilts too.

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  9. Would love to see a photo of the entire quilt so as to appreciate the design.

    From a quilter in Australia.

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    1. Your wish is my command, Margaret. I have updated this post with the quilt sprawled over the freezer in the hall. Thanks for your comment.

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  10. That's a fantastic inheritance From your description I can picture her in front of the fire, stitching away. I'd like to have a go at quilting, perhaps when I've got a but more time on my hands.

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  11. Hi Kirsty. I think quilting is a great traditional craft that you can pass down to future generations. You can make the quilts from recycled materials. so the only cost is your labour. My wife often knits cardigans for expectant mothers who can't knit.

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  12. Lovely family heirlooms Dave, it's nice to use family stuff isn't it? I still use my Grandma's bun tins and she died in 1977. We have had an evening stroll today and I jus commented to Mr Twigs that the nights are drawing in now, the farmers are just beginning to gather their crops in, so the tractor lights light up the room when they drive by after dark
    Twiggy

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  13. Hi Twiggy. It is nice to use family heirlooms. I have a brass goat and horse that belonged to my dad and a display cabinet full of pot animals. He said I could have them but only when he had gone. We have a box of royal wedding commemoration cups and plates belonging to my mum. I just keep them in a corner, not much of a royalist but they belonged to my mum. Been awful November like weather here. Already we are wearing coats and the range is lit every night to cook, hot water and the radiators. Thanks!

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