Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms: Grandma Dempsey’s Quilts

I don’t know how many quilts my paternal grandmother, Myrtle Hazel ROOP, made during her lifetime. I don’t remember ever seeing her work on cutting pieces and patching them together.quilt3Around 1972 Grandma gave my sister and I each a twin size quilt with the sunbonnet motif. A closer look at the quilt shows she machine zig-zagged the motif onto the white background. She folded a tiny white square into a triangle for the girl’s hand. After sewing all the pieces together with the blue borders she added the scalloped pink and blue border. She hand-quilted around the edges of all the pieces of the motif and the scalloped border before quilting diagonal stitches across the entire quilt leaving off at the motif and outside border. She used material of blue and green tulips on a white background for the back. The backing material was already quilted to batting but it is still easy to see where the machine quilting was done and where Grandma’s tiny handmade stitches were made.

quilt4I’ve taken great care with this quilt which is nearly 45 years old and still looks like new.

Next door to my grandparents house in Victor Fayette County, West Virginia, was the school house where my Dad and his siblings went to school. The Victor School closed in 1955 and was then used by the ladies in the community as a meeting place for them to do their handiwork. Grandma told me she made her braided rugs and the ladies would do their quilting together in the school house.

Grandma always did her quilting by hand and after they stopped using the school house,and when I lived with her the year I went to college, she had her quilting frame set up on the enclosed front porch of the family home.

quilt1When I left after living with her for nearly a year I gave her a Log Cabin Block quilt kit with pre-cut pieces that I ordered for her through a magazine. When I got married the next year she sent me the finished queen size quilt as a wedding present. It will be 38 years old this March and is a bit more worn than the first quilt but still in prime condition.quilt2 I have another quilt hidden away in the attic that Grandma gave to me when I visited her with my Mom in 1982. I need to make some time to go up in the attic and do some cleaning up and sorting. I might even find some more forgotten heirlooms.

© 2016 Cathy Meder-Dempsey

Jeanne Bryan Insalaco of Everyone Has A Story suggested doing posts on heirlooms in a discussion in the Genealogy Bloggers Facebook group and wrote Now Where Did I Put That? Several bloggers have taken her up on the challenge to write about their heirlooms and we hope more will follow our lead.

Other bloggers doing Family Heirloom stories:

Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Visit her 52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap for the links to more posts in the comments.