Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Quilt Story

My wife, Helen, has become an avid quilter since making her first quilt back in 2008. Prior to that she had helped her mother, Edna Ireton, with her quilting. Edna was restricted to a wheelchair for the last 15 years of her life as the result of a stoke which left her paralyzed on the left side so Helen and her sister, Barbara, would assist with the cutting and assembling. The Hands of the Quilter Stilled

Helen is an excellent seamstress and is frequently called upon by family members and friends to alter or repair garments. She also has over the past few years also been asked to refurbish old quilts. You Can't Throw That Out!

Following Edna's death, her quilts were being passed on to family members and her granddaughter, Hilary, just loved one old quilt. The quilt was quite tattered and worn around the edges because of the use it had gotten over the decades. Hilary approached her Aunt Helen to see if the quilt could be repaired and, as usual, Helen agreed to see what she could do with it to make it usable again.

Helen refurbished the quilt and attached the the following story for Hilary to the back so it wouldn't be lost.

A Treasure In Grandma Ireton's Cedar Chest
Flower Basket Quilt Story
Every quilt has a story and this is the story of the Flower Basket Quilt, and the surprise it delivered over seventy years later to Hilary Ireton, grand-daughter of Grandma Edna Gertrude Ireton (nee Gardiner).

This quilt was created by Grandma Ireton and you can be sure a lot of love went into each stitch. Grandma was happiest when creating something beautiful with her hands.

Grandma Ireton would have made this quilt in the late 1930's. Great Grandma Mary Ellen Gardiner (nee Dowdall) would have, no doubt, helped Grandma cut the fabric into the pieces needed to complete the quilt top. The old fashioned prints used would probably be from shirts, aprons and curtains as well as flour sacks washed and bleached until the sacks were as white as snow. Grandma sewed the pieces of fabric together using a treadle sewing machine, using her feet to manipulate the machine treadle by pushing with her toes and heels in an even manner to create a smooth stitch line.

All quilts have three layers: the top fabric or quilt top, the batting layer, and the backing material. Grandma and Great Grandma hand quilted all three layers of the entire quilt using wooden hand quilting frames which made it easy to keep all three layers tight and together while hand quilting.

When the quilt was completed it was placed in Grandma's cedar chest only to be used after she was married. Grandpa and Grandma were married on May 20, 1942. Grandpa and Grandma lived on the family farm at Drummond Centre. The farm has been in the Ireton family name since April 1, 1896.

Grandma Ireton died on February 10, 2010, at the age 93 years. Much to Hilary's surprise Grandma's beautiful Flower Basket Quilt was passed down to Hilary to be used on her bed.

Grandma used the Flower Basket quilt for many years on their bed. In October 2012, Aunt Helen White (nee Ireton) refurbished the quilt replacing the original binding with new fabric to return the quilt to a usable state.

Hilary, when you sleep under Grandma's Flower Basket Quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

Good Night, Sweet Dreams

See you again soon from Between Keyboard and Chair



mehitabel said...

Love that story! It's so true that every quilt tells its own tale, if we can just listen. They should all have labels like this on them! Good work, Helen, bringing new life to this quilt for a new generation, and thank you, Don, for chronicling it all!

mita parvin said...

I really liked your post about "A Quilt Story"