Thursday, August 7, 2008

Quilts and Cotton Combs

How is everyone today? I hope doing well. We are in for a 'cool spell' here. Low to mid 90's. :-D That is always welcomed this time of year.

I am participating in Kelli's of There's No Place Like Home Friday Show and Tell. {Click on this link to read more about it.}
Show and TellAnd I have another family "heirloom" to share with you. I hope you enjoy it.

My maternal grandmother loved making quilts. I bet she made hundreds of them. Most, every stitch by hand. I have only a few that she made. But this one is very special. She made this Around the World top in 1958 for her 'first grandchild' (me) and entered it in the Madison County (Alabama) Fair. It took home the Blue Ribbon! She was so proud of that.

She gave up on me ever getting married, which was when she was planning on giving me the quilt, so some time in the early 80's she quilted it and gave it to me. When I was very young, I can remember when Grandma would sandwich a quilt, she would lay unbleached muslin (she was very simple country woman. The quilts these days would blow her mind. The green backing I picked for this quilt blew her mind....) on the floor. She would take clean cotton and her combs and began to comb them (that was before she discovered the quilting poly...) and she would comb those fibers, spreading them out on the muslin. When the muslin was sufficiently covered, she would place the top onto the cotton and pin it down.

I am sure that these cotton combs have seen many many quilts. Grandma died a few months before I got married. Praise the Lord, she did see me engaged to a wonderful man who she adored. So she quit worrying. I was the oldest of her 11 grands and almost the last to marry. That fretted her to no end. But I digress...

I have seen these combs used for wool, flax, any type of fiber that needs combing before spinning, processing, etc. The needles are very very fine and very strong. They scratch the skin easily. When my mom had to 'downsize' and we were cleaning out her house, I found them tucked away in a closet. Since I learned to quilt from grandma and helped her with her quilts a lot, Mama let me take them home.

I am working on a way to display them someway. I do not want to keep them hidden in a closet. I want to show them. I think, if I ever get that 'sewing studio/office' thing going, that will be a perfect place. :-)

28 comments:

Kathy said...

Melissa, your grandmothers quilt is spectacular! What a gift from your sweet grandmother. I can certainly see why you treasure it.
Lovely post...
Kathy (mimisgarden.blogspot.com)

Charlotte said...

This is so special. I remember going to my grandmother's house when I was growing up (40s and 50s) and seeing all the beautiful quilts she had on her beds. I don't think she ever owned a blanket and she lived in Oklahoma where it gets cold at nights in the winters, so she had lots of quilts. Sure wish I had gotten some or at least one of them.

Ivory Spring said...

Wow... a treasure you have, Missy!! Thanks for sharing!

Jewelgirl said...

Your grandmothers quilt is wonderful
and so colorful, a true beautiful family treasure! On the brushes
how about a shadow box type frame?
They are deeper than a regular picture frame, they come in different depths, so you could display your family heirloom brushes.

Rebecca said...

What an amazing quilt!! How special! And how wonderful you now have the treasure of her combs. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Carla said...

What treasures! My grandma was a quilter too-we treasure each one. However I remember her buying her batting-not making it! How interesting!

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Oh, just lovely! And thank you for sharing the great story that went along with it. So sweet!

Tammy said...

Your grandmother's quilt is just wonderful! What a treasure indeed!

My mom currently has an afghan my grandma made...it's so wonderful to have someone that a grandparent put such loving work into, isn't it?
The brushes are so great to have, too!

Carrie said...

It was great to see and hear about your speccial quilt.

Anne Fannie said...

What a precious heirloom! That is truly a treasure!
Love, Ann

Hootin' Anni said...

Yes, yes!!! That kind of room, a sewing room would be a perfect place indeed! What a special heirloom!!!

Stop by my antique show n tell if you can. [you'll need to scroll down a bit since I added the Tropical Storm update of the damage done in Houston where my son lives on the top of my blog this morning! ---]

Happy weekend.

JanMary said...

Stunning quilt, and what a wonderful history to it too.

I recognize the comb - they used similar ones here in Northern Ireland in the flax/linen industry.

Thanks for sharing, and have a lovely weekend.

A Hint of Home said...

How special to have the quilt and memories. The combs are a unique treasure.

ceekay said...

Beautiful quilt and what a special heirloom.

Sandra said...

That is just gorgeous, and what a sweet gift from your grandmother :)

Barbara H. said...

What a beautiful quilt. I enjoyed the story behind it. I love those combs, too -- sounds like you have a great plan for displaying them!

ohiofarmgirl said...

You have a great story and a wonderful quilt. My grandmother used to quilt but I was not close with her...Dianntha

Julie said...

I'm jealous--that is a beautiful quilt. What an absolute treasure. Julie

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HI, Melissa, you made me laugh! See...now the yardsale thing might be rubbing off on you. I'll tell you, it gets addicting all the great stuff out there. I hope you will get out there (with your little stash) and see what you can find! Those 2 estate sales were fun & they were both in Hoover-HA! I thought I commented yesterday on your thrifty post, but couldn't see your pics, so I didn't. I love that silver butter dish...gorgeous! I'm going to do a big yardsale outing in Sept. if you want to join us. I'll try to find out about a big neighborhood sale ahead & time & get everyone together. Maybe you can come too.

I just read that you're a fitness instructor too. I've been a big workout person for about 26 years now, so I hear you on that. I don't always eat right though...last night me & hubs went to Bruster's for 1/2 price banana splits. Now, that was fun! Can't do that all the time, but once in awhile those treats are good. I'll have to check out your recipes.

So glad we met, neighbor!

Rhoda

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Me again! About that longest yardsale...I've gone to that thing twice & was not all that impressed. It sounds like it would be great & I'm sure there are some wonderful bargains out there, but it's almost TOO overwhelming. Lots of roadside stops, lots of JUNK and LOTS of antique dealers trying to make a buck...oh, & it's hot as blazes this time of year! I can get that at any antique mall around here. So, I have decided I do much better just hitting the local sales. I didn't find much of anything the two times I went to that much publicized longest yardsale.

So, I'm staying home!

Rhoda

Dawn said...

I just finished my 6th Jennifer Chiaverini book and I just love them. Since I don't quilt, some of the 'quiltese' in the books is a foreign language to me, but she spins such a wonderful story each book. The quilt is gorgeous - and I know what you mean about people wondering when you were going to get married!

Jeanne said...

Melissa, what a lovely story to share. This what I love about blogging. Sharing stories that may never be told. Finding the comb is priceless, and the quilt is wonderful. Lucky you to have such great memories of your grandmother.

Hugs, Jeanne

BarbaraLee said...

I bet your grandma was tickled when you got married. What a way to start out your lives together, in grandmas love.
My dh grandma made quilts too. But hers are falling apart. I think it is the material she used or the use we put them through.

Mommy said...

What a beautiful quilt! I am glad you did finally get married though, LOL!

Wanita said...

The quilt is beautiful! I really enjoyed the story you shared about how your grandmother made it.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comment.

Kelli said...

What a beautiful quilt and the brushes are amazing treasures, too! I like jewelgirl's idea of displaying them in a shadow box!
~Kelli

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Melissa, I followed you over from Rhoda's blog to thank you for your kind comments about my house. I'm so glad I did as I love, love, LOVE quilts. What a beauty!

I am going to try and visit your other blogs. I'm computerless of late (had to steal my hubby's), but when I get a chance, I want to come back and visit if that's alright.

Take care and thanks again,

Sheila

Jeanne said...

Melissa, thanks for your comments this morning. I am sorry I had to laugh when you mentioned how you needed to more about how to change your blog. I never used a computer until I started looking at my friend's blog. She talked me into blogging and I said no way could I ever figure that out. She said she would help me set it up and she actually set it up like hers with my input. I have come a long way, but she helps me constantly. Don't laugh!!

Thank you for your visits and sweet comments on my posts. I love to read them.

Take care, Jeanne