Patchwork Of Another Sort

Apr 19, 2020 | 3 comments

Mom’s Patchwork Quilt

My grandmother wasn’t a quilter and neither were her daughters.  But my mother did make at least one patchwork quilt and, as old and tired as it is, I do love it dearly.  She made it in 1932.  She was at home here in Oysterville waiting until my dad was earning enough money at Roger Babson’s Statistical Organization so they could afford to get married.  It took two years.

For that two years, mom worked on her trouseau — mostly re-working discarded clothing of her older sisters so that she could have a wardrobe appropriate to far-off Boston.  She also hemmed napkins and embroidered tea towels  and put lace edging on pillow cases.  (I think the lace was re-cycled from things of my great-grandmother Julia’s.)

Two Greens – Not a Shadow

While she was at it, she made the quilt.  Once, long ago, she told me what each different piece had come from — a dress of my grandmother’s, an old pair of rompers of Willard’s or Edwin’s, perhaps some left-over fabric from the kitchen curtains.  I wish I had written it all down.

The only patchwork item (if you can really call it an “item”) that has been created in this household during my lifetime is our lawn!  And what a patchwork it is!  Different colors, different textures, different densities, different rates of growth!  And, different-sized patches!  Maybe this is more a crazy quilt pattern that a patchwork design.

There is no rhyme but plenty of reasons to it, and I do know something about each patch.  In the beginning when the folks first moved in, the main part was put in by my dad.  The part we call “the croquet court” was done by Willard.  Part is in place of a large flower bed and was done by Nyel.  Part (a big patch) was done by Beach Time Landscaping when we had to have our septic system re-done.  It obliterated most of Willard’s patch.  And then there are the scattered patches that I’ve worked on — the little round areas that repair the mole damage.

Green, Greenish, Greener

All-in-all… it’s a mess!  Ten thousand square feet of this and that.  But… it beats most alternatives and until we have a lot more than the promised stimulus money (which we haven’t seen yet) we aren’t intending to replace it.  We’ll just continue to patch, patch, patch.


  1. Jane E Smith

    Sydney, I have 2 quilts from my maternal grandparents that were wedding gifts. That would be late 1919ish. One is Dresden Plate and one is Wedding Ring. My parents always used them as bedspreads, but I am afraid to even touch them. They are in near perfect condition. I am a quilter myself, and am in awe of all the hand quilting on these quilts. Treasure that patchwork quilt! I don’t think it classifies as a crazy quilt, as all the shapes are half triangles. A crazy quilt (at least ones made today) have more random shapes. Whatever, it is beautiful.

    • sydney

      No, it’s definitely not a crazy quilt. I have a “modern” one of those. This one was just a patchwork — there may have been a name for the diamond pattern but my mom never mentioned that. It’s all hand-stitched. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a sewing machine in the house in those days. Every stitch in the quilt is by hand. I should have shown the backing, too. A lovely old-fashioned floral print.

  2. Caroline Miller

    I love quilts, though I can’t make a stitch. Perhaps, that’s why I love them so much. Your, quilt, however, is more than a blanket to cover. It’s a family history and as such, is priceless. Lucky you!


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