Thursday, December 4, 2008

Heavy Homemade Patch Quilts

As the snow falls here today my thoughts go back to those bitterly cold nights on the barren, treeless plains of Kansas in the mid to late 1920s. The bedrooms in our house were closed off to keep the heat in the kitchen and living areas, so we wore our "long-handles" to bed. Brrrr. Sometimes we even heated bricks in the oven and wrapped them in towels to keep our feet warm.
In those days, there was not so much use of blankers because we had those HEAVY homemade patch quilts. They must have weighed 5 pounds each. They were made from suit material that my folks used to buy from the clothing store. The swatches of material were about 5 inches and at each of the 4 corners of the full quilt were those little yarn strings, about an inch long, where the quilts were tied and knotted.
The undersides were all flannel and the padding was probably cotton in those days. There weren't any synthetic fabrics on the market back then. But those quilts were HEAVY. I remember most towns still had stores where tailors made suits for men. Those stores had big books of material swatches. It seems like we got a new Sears catalog every year, so the tailors probably got new books of swatches every year too. Housewives would buy those outdated swatch books and use the material to make those quilts.
My mom worked a lot making quilts of all kinds. She made my wife and my daughter each a quilt later in her life, but they were much lighter, as they were pieced together from cotton squares and scraps she had left over after making all her own dresses, instead of that heavy wool.
On these cold winter evenings I'm thinking it would feel good to throw one of those wool quilts over my legs!
Thanks for listening!
Ernie

1 comment:

Becky Jamison said...

Boy, Dad, I wish we still had some of Grandma's heavy wool quilts! I'd be under one right now! But I cherish the two that I have that she made later in her life. They are really keepsakes and will go to Taylor & Alyssa someday.