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sweet dreams

This is the quilt we sleep with every night. It was made for my husband's father, by his grandmother, and it's over 60 years old. Marked in pen in one of the corners it says 1948.. so my father-in-law received it when he was 10 or 11. John remembers his parents having it on their bed when he was a little boy.

I love so many things about it. The randomness of the pattern, using whatever fabric was around the house. Certain corners are pieced together using every scrap available. There is no binding, she just turned the edge and sewed it by hand, and I love each imperfect little stitch. The batting itself is actually an old blanket, held in place by yarn ties at the edges of each piece (probably why we like sleeping under it so much).

I'm a fan of white in quilts, and lots of it. This quilt has a mainly white ground, but then random squares of blue, and pink, even black. It reminds me of some of the Gee's Bend quilts, which seem to use whatever fabric was handy (shirts, jeans, sheets, etc). I wish I could incorporate some of that random beauty into my own quilts.

My husband used to keep this quilt in a chest for safekeeping, it's understandable that he wanted to take good care of it. But when we moved into this house, we rescued it from its hiding place and placed it on our bed. It's now the place where I read bedtime stories to the kids, where we snuggle in the mornings when our kids come jump in bed. I like to think that great grandmother would have wanted it that way.

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Reader Comments (39)

This is a beautiful quilt. Thank you for sharing it with us! I love the Quilts of Gees Bend and was so moved by that exhibit.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterchelsea

It is absolutely beautiful :)

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

my granny laughs at me b/c she gives me all of her old quilts and even though some of the batting falls out of them daily b/c they are so beautifully loved and worn, i use them anyway. most of mine are feedsack quilts. i wonder if yours it too. i think i recognize one of the patterns.
thanks for sharing!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenteralli

What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story to match. So great that you're using it and that's it's loved and appreciated everyday. The fabrics are incredible.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterlexi

So beautiful this quilt!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBruna

I'm sure she would have wanted it to be used too. What a beautiful work of art.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterchristy

Brooke- It's beautiful! I would love to see a shot of the whole quilt.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterPatricia

Just don't let anyone wash it then toss it in the dryer. :( My husband has a beautiful quilt his Great Aunt made him. The kids tossed it in with the wash and instead of 'line' drying it.. they threw is in the dryer. It's still in one piece.. barely. I've found a 'quilting bee' up in the mountains of NC that has promise to repair it this Summer. My poor husband, he was so heart broken... which is surprising as he is not the sentimental type. I've not told him about the "bee" .. I plan to give him the repaired quilt as a birthday present in August. I hope they are able to match some of the fabrics. Like your husbands, this quilt was more than likely made out of men's shirts from another era.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

....and fabric from ladies dresses.

Your quilt is lovely.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

How very special this is! I truly believe that such special and sentimental things should be used on a regular basis!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

What a beautiful piece of history. I'm not usually a quilt fan, but I'm from Alabama and I want a Gee's Bend quilt so bad I can taste it! One day!

What a special piece of your family history!! It is so beautiful!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

OOO! I love this quilt. It just screams (or maybe whispers) 'coziness'. And there's nothing I love more than putting heirlooms to use. The knowledge of all the little kids or loving couples or chilly families that were wrapped up in htat blanket at one time is so heartwarming.

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjessica m

This is so beautiful. Many old quilts have old blankets inside instead of batting. So comfy and such a good story!

Mountain Baby Blankets

Please click on my blog link to learn how you can make a baby blanket for a teen mother in Appalachian Kentucky.

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Just gorgeous.

I have a great-grandmother quilt on my bed, too. Most of the squares are scraps of the fabric she used to make dresses for my own mother. I used to worry I'd ruin the quilt, but what's the point of locking it away forever? Everyday use, I say!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAshley H.

I also love quilts with lots of white and bits of faded color. We have a couple of treasured family quilts in our house, and they look quite a bit like this - none of the super fancy modern quilts live up to them, in my opinion, although they are works of art in their own right.

It's beautiful! Our bed has a quilt my grandma made for me when I was little. I had it in safekeeping for years, but it's so much better to have it out and loved. :)

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne b.

Quilts, heirlooms, items with meaning, and that final picture with the little feet. Is this the perfect blog entry?

02.24.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMal*

i too have an old quilt made by my great-great aunt. i haven't put it on my bed, although i am longing too, because i was unsure of how to clean it. any advice?

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenterstephanie

what a treasure! it's a beautiful quilt!

02.24.2009 | Unregistered Commenteramandajean

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