Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Another quilter is missing from my life…..

On Friday, April 14th, while I was driving to deliver my last tax return of the season, I decided to pick up the phone and call my Mom.  She had been going downhill for the last few months and had pretty much quit answering her phone but I was hopeful that she would pick up this time.  Unfortunately she didn’t answer, but the head of the facility that she lived in did answer.  He told me that they had just found her in her room and that she had passed away.  Apparently she had ordered her lunch and was sitting at her table waiting for it to be delivered.  She passed peacefully as she waited.

Now, like many Mothers and Daughters,  my Mom and I had a bumpy relationship.  She grew up during the Great Depression and vowed to have nice things in her life.  The problem arose in that her “nice things” took the form of Victorian figurines and other frilly things.  I, on the other hand, enjoyed more organic and natural forms of art.  However, one thing that we both agreed on was the art of quilting.

Mom made her first quilt when she was 11 years old…..

   It was a HEAVY 9 patch quilt made with every fabric imaginable.  I am fortunate to own it now.

When times were tough, Mom quilted for the public to help make money for she and my Dad.   There were several other quilts that she made early in her quilting journey, including this “Friendship quilt” that graced her bed…..

As a kid, I used to love to look at the signatures and ask Mom who the people were.

However, once she and Dad left the farm and moved to “the big city” (Abilene, Texas), she started working in offices and her quilting was pushed to one side.

Then, in the 1970’s there was a resurgence in quilting associated with the Bicentennial Celebration, and Mom jumped in with both feet.  Her first decision was that I needed SIX quilts for my “Hope Chest”.  She started with a Balloon Girl that utilized fabrics from my dresses…..

She quilted her way thru a Double Wedding ring…..

……a Grandmother’s Flower Garden……

….she quilted a Bear’s Paw that her mother (my Granny) had pieced……

Next was a Broken Star quilt that she had started just after she had married but had never finished.   The white fabrics had yellowed with the years and she un-pieced it and put in new white fabrics…..

Her final offering for my Hope Chest was a gorgeous “Boston Commons”…..
All of her quilts were meticulously hand pieced and hand quilted and each took a year or so to make.  Because of the length of time it took to make a quilt, I never had any interest in making one!!!  However, Mom did teach me the joy of being busy with my hands and of being creative, so my creativity came in the form of Crewel Embroidery, Needlepoint and Counted Cross Stitch.  
When I did start quilting, Mom was so excited and she and I spent many happy hours looking thru books together and talking about the quilts that we would one day make.  These times are some of my fondest memories.
In the last 10 years, we made several quilts together, starting with “Mother-Daugher Flower Garden”…..
….and continuing on with “Flower Pots”…..

With each of these quilts, Mom did the applique and I did the setting and quilting.  It was a fun process to work thru them together.  Back in 2014, she was wanting something new to work on so I sent these blocks to her. 

She immediately did the applique and returned them to me and there they have sat.  It will be a fun challenge to work on this quilt “with her” again sometime soon.

So, I have said my Goodbyes to her body and her mind but my good memories of her are brought to my mind EVERY TIME I look at a quilt….what a wonderful legacy!!

Rest In Peace Mom……

6 thoughts on “Another quilter is missing from my life…..

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, Frances. This post is such a wonderful tribute to your mother. I remember oohing and aahing over “Flower Pots” in the 2013 quilt show. Each of these quilts is so special. Love the dainty flowers in the “mother-daughter flower garden”. The “broken star” is superbly done. And “balloon girl”- awww too sweet. Your mom must have been so proud to have raised an amazing quilter.

  2. So very sorry to hear about your Mom. She left you with wonderful memories and I am sure a great love. A wonderful tribute to your Mom and to you.

  3. Hi Frances. I want to send my sympathies to you on the passing of your mother.I am so impressed with the beautiful story you have told about your mother and your shared love of quilting.I am pleased you have so many special memories.Thank you for sharing her lovely quilts.

  4. What a beautiful memorial to your mother. We did not have a quilting legacy in my family but I am so glad that you had the opportunity to share this activity with your mother. You have some beautiful quilts to remember her by.

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