Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quilt Legacy

By Bessie Pravecek

By Fern Edwards

As I made the bed this morning and folded the quilt at the foot of our bed, I began thinking about quilts in my life. Quilts are one of those things in the American culture that tickles the homey cozy feelings in most everyone.
I laid out some of the quilts in layers so you could enjoy the variety. Beautiful craft that represents hours and hours of work. I'm so proud to be the guardian of these practical works of art.
Last Christmas as we were driving to North Carolina I was surprised to see quilt squares painted on barns throughout TN and NC. They were just beautiful. One traditional quilt pattern square was painted on the hay loft door so they were sizable, simple and dramatic. A WOW in the landscape that inspired a warm feeling.

Our home has many quilts both in use and on display that were made primarily by Mark's Mom, Fern Edwards, some from his aunts and we have one made by my Mom, Bessie Pravecek---all of which I treasure.

My Mom made one of these for each of her 5 children in their favorite color; I love it!
Mark's Mom made quilts for years. Her hands were always busy doing handwork, crocheting or quilting; creating something beautiful for someone. She was of the generation whose lives included hard physical work taking care of her family of eight and her home without modern appliances, fast food, or even shopping convenience. Yet she found time to make beautiful quilts for family--- immediate & extended. It makes me wonder about our modern world where we have all the conveniences but still don't seem to have time to do things we want. Anyway, quilts were not only beautiful but practical items that were needed and used by people to stay warm.

This is so Fern, it's her favorite color and pattern. Just beautiful workmanship. A treasure.
My mother-in-law's funeral was one of the most touching & beautiful - yes beautiful - funerals I have ever attended. Family brought their handmade quilts & crocheted afghans made by Fern to the funeral and the church was lovingly draped in her years of handiwork -- the communion railing, the front pews, the choir loft railing, and around the altar. It was beautiful...and a lovely tribute to the artistic expression of one talented woman. It spoke volumes to those attending and wonderful memories were stirred. I felt so proud of her that day; she would have been amazed by the demonstration of love for her.

This is my personal favorite from Fern. It is a light summer weight quilt. She used worn out clothes from her family for the fabric. In those days, people reused items as a matter of practice...unlike these days when "Green" is a new concept and people have to be reminded and trained to reuse items rather than just throw away.

Any room with a quilt just seems more welcoming and cozy, don't you agree? I'm lucky to have these handmade quilts in our home. They are reminders of the wonderful women in my life who have passed on. What a lovely legacy.

(NOTE: I would love to hear from you. Please write your comments to my blog below. I've made it easier to leave a note. Please give it a try! Thanks for visiting.)


Anonymous said...

I don't think there were many quilt making women in my family so I never really took to quilts. But tears flowed when I read this. The quilts at the funeral made me a puddle. They really are beautiful and you are lucky to have them.

The one thing my grandmother did was sew. She made clothing, costumes, uniforms, beaded dresses, you name it. Had she lived in Hollywood, I bet she would have been a costume designer for the movies. The talent was there! Many of my childhood memories of her involve the sound of the sewing machine buzzing and of her telling me to stand still while she pinned fabric pieces together around me. I catch myself every now and then looking at a garment in a store thinking that it's craftsmanship is pathetic - "that I could make this better myself." It's not true, but it's what I was taught by my grandmother. She to this day will not buy clothing that is made poorly. Nothing is more annoying to her than to spend inflated prices for "a silly old rag" as she says.


Janet said...

I didn't know that Aunt Bessie was a quilter. You are lucky daughters to have such a keepsake from her. And all the other quilts. Thanks for this post at this time of year. Makes me a little nostalgic and thinking of Christmas and what 2011 will bring. I'm looking forward to many good things.

Anonymous said...

You know Delores, I agree with you. Mark's Mom's funeral was one of the MOST beautiful displays I'd seen. I love looking at quilts and all the handiwork and love put into those quilts