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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bygone Quilts

For those of you who have been following me for any length of time know that a few years (yes, years) ago my sister, her husband and I have the daunting  laborious  adventurous task of clearing out the farm we grew up on.
Both our parents had passed (Love you, Mom and Dad), so the time had come to clear/clean and toss ALL the items they had collected over the 50 some years they had lived there. 
It took about 3 years of weekends to go through everything in the house.
And I do mean go through. Dad had a habit of stashing money......it could be in a drawer, or a shoebox of obituary newspaper clippings or in a shoe, in random envelopes mixed in with paid bills...you just never knew where it would pop up. So we had to go through every drawer, stack, box, pile, etc of papers thoroughly. And of course we would reminisce along the way and WONDER just what he was thinking. Since both of them had been through the depression, it would seem that they would not toss away anything..because "you may need it later". Oh how many times we had heard that!
Anyway, this brings me up to what I'm posting about today.
Dad had old ancient quilts that had seen better days out in his shop that he would use to cover whatever engine, tractor part or whatever other greasy grimy thing he was fixing to keep the dust off of it?? Don't ask ;)
They were put in the toss pile when my sister and I came sorting. When we went to actually carry them into the bed of the truck for the dumps, I just couldn't do it. So they ended up in my van to come home.  I knew I could squeeze them in one tiny space I had left.....of course, the van was filled to the brim every time we had finished for the day.  Some of my family thought I was making my own "dumps" but all those sentimental and some ridiculous items all ended up in "My Treasure" pile. At first it was a little corner of my garage, but darn it I just don't know how it grew so big! I know I didn't get them wet or feed them after midnight, but some how it filled a wall just about to the ceiling. Of course, I knew I would sort through and figure out what to do with each one in time....disassemble and create something new, wash it up and display it in my home, the possibilities were endless.
Little by little I got through most of it. I am on the bottom layer now which is where the 3 holey, greasy, grubby quilts were.
They still smelled just like Dads shop and they hadn't gotten any cleaner by sitting there.
These were so heavy, I knew I couldn't wash them by hand, so I popped them into the washer on hand wash. I figured they would fall apart or even disintegrate, but I had to try.
I hung them out on the clothes line to dry.
Yes, there were pieces of fabric covering the inside of my washer, but for the most part they didn't do as bad as I had feared, but they did do bad.
I washed 2.
One came out not much worse than it went in.
Still stained and grubby but a clean grubby.

I'm pretty sure these were my Grandmothers, or even great Grandmothers.
All I know is they came from my Dad's Mom when she passed and he was cleaning out her farm.
He brought just about everything from her place to our home....
hmm, sounds familiar.... 

The other was still together but it looked like a cat colony had been sharpening their claws for a week on it.

What I found interesting was the layer upon layer of fabric. In the very center was an old blanket, covered by layers of quilt tops and bottoms.

My guess is when it would wear out they just pieced another quilt top on it.
With not having much in the old days they made do with what they had.

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with these, but knew something would come to mind. I started cutting out the bigger whole pieces, then it hit me.
I would make a farmhouse garland out of the scraps.
I could even skip the first step since it was already grubby!

So I cut and tied and cut and tied and cut and tied......

Scented it with cinnamon and added cinnamon sticks to it and ended up with a 8 1/2 foot garland!
Let me tell ya, it's a heavy one, even with separating all the layers!
I think I made it too long :/

I also cutout some free formed hearts with larger pieces.

Now by no means is this the whole quilt. I still have several 2"x3" or about there, pieces left.
Then I have the one real scraggly one and the other one I haven't washed yet.
To say I'm quilted out and need to move onto something else is an understatement.
But I will be listing the next Farmhouse Garlands.
I know when to stop and let go of somethings...I do, I really do!
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!


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