Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hand Quilting ... a penny per yard of thread

Sorry to have gotten your hopes up! This group of women were part of the Moravian sewing circle. They would hand quilt for anyone at one cent a yard of thread and donate the money to the church. They were from Lititz, Pennsylvania. The woman sitting alone at the far end of the frame was the oldest member of the group and was still quilting at 93. There are so many questions I would love to have answered about the women in this photograph:
The clock on the back wall shows 4:45 and it made me wonder what they were doing quilting so late into the afternoon and what would they be preparing for dinner after having spent all day out at a quilting frolic? What color are the fabrics in the quilt that they are working on? What quilting pattern are they quilting? Who was the quilt in the frame for and what ever became of it? What are the women sitting at the window working on? Where was the photo taken? In one of the quilter's homes? Do I see an arm chair in the far back right corner of the room? I want to know their names and where they lived and about the families they raised and the lives they lived. I want to know their stories, their recipes, their quilting advice, their advice on raising a family, how to darn a sock, how to pinch a penny, how to save for a rainy day.
The photograph was taken in November of 1942 by Marjory Collins.

14 comments:

julieQ said...

This is a wonderful picture, and I too want to know all the answers. They are still quilting because they have dinner cooking in the oven, and bread baked the night before!

Nedra said...

I noticed on your give away that you had straw needles from Jeana Kimball. Did you know she used to live here in St. George? She has moved to central Utah now, but still makes quite a few quilt appearances around the state.
I loved the picture too. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall, or a small child who sat under the quilt to hear all the things they might talk of?

Tracy said...

What a great picture. I guess we will never know the real answers but it is intriguing to imagine the discussions that were going on around the table.

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment. This is my first visit to your blog and I am off now to have a look around at your beautiful pictures. Your sheep pincushions are gorgeous, they remind me of our own flock of suffolk sheep.

Catherine said...

Your questions about that picture really make one sit back and think. Great picture.

Nadine said...

This is the magic with old photos : they make you dream, wonder, and bring you on the wings of time....
Beautiful picture, dear, and such a lovely post, as always :>)

BBH to you,
XOXOXOXOXOXOXO
NADINE

Kritta22 said...

Gosh to be one of their kids...or grandkids. So much knowledge those ladies had! It actually make me want to make sure I keep up my journal. Wouldn't you love to read about what they talked about from one of their points of views!

Eileen said...

Hmmm.. looks like it could maybe be red and white?
Love the photo. :-)

Marilyn R said...

Well, we know they didn't have dinner waiting for them in a crock pot at home! Great picture!

Judy said...

Depending on where they were it could also be 4:45 am, but not likely. I think most of the ladies did a huge amount of cooking very early in the morning for their suppers that night to save heat and time. It could be that it's just after dinner. You know they started work and chores very early in those days.
Of course, because men often pass away before the wives it could be a very small group of widows who only have to cook for themselves at this point too. SO many questions and answers to imagine!!

ranette said...

I love the picture. Reminds me of my hubby's Grandmother. She used to go to the quilting bee's and then come home and rip out the stitches that she deemed "not good enough" ...lol

Michele said...

What a great picture! I wonder what people would say about a picture of my quilting group in 2045? Quilting groups are a way to relax and rewind and I have found them to be therapeutic. Quilting is my passion.

Thanks for posting this photo!

Michelle
http://keepsakequilting-1.blogspot.com/

Leslie said...

The Sew 'n' Sews meet every week. They've planned ahead and are having a potluck of baked beans, cold corn pone, greens and strawberry-rhurbarb pie. Mavis prides herself on her pies so everyone agreed she should bring one of her favorites.The quilt is Nile green with white, quilted in the Bishop's fan because it's for the Pastor of the Presbyterian church and his wife Thelma, who are moving west before the snow flies. The group wanted to make it Turkey red with white, but had to go with green because the Pastor couldn't have something 'that red' in his home. They'd hoped to give it to their first born but he died in an accident at the mill in '52 so the quilt made it's way to Thelma's sister who bequeathed it to her niece at her passing. No one knows where it went from there. Betty and Ethel at the window are taking turns threading needles for the others at the frame and doing some mending while they wait their turn to quilt. It's Marjory's front parlor and since she was the first in her quilting group to own an Eastman-Kodak it just seemed fittin' for her to be the one to take the picture. Mabel, who's quilting at the foot of the frame always stitches at the foot or head of the quilt because she's a southpaw and no one else can sit next to her. She's stitching upstream while everyone else is stitching down. But what they talked about? That went the way of this quilt that was lost after the third generation.
Thanks for sharing! Love it!

Lily Boot said...

what a wonderful photo - and Leslie sure has a great imagination! It has me thinking about photos - we're all so mad keen on them and see them as marvellous opportunities to capture the events of our life - but really, they leave so much out as your photo shows. What we need to go with the photo are the diaries and letters ... the more visual we become, the more lost the voices seem to be. Good thing we have blogs. :-)

Miri said...

Lovely photo-I agree with Eileen-red and white. It certainly makes you wish someone had written a bit of their story on the back of the photo.