Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Precious Patchwork: My grandparents' wedding quilt

It was just over 82 years ago that my grandparents eloped.  They were married on December 16, 1931 in Freeport, IL.  My grandpa had just turned 21 and my grandma just 18.  They got married, went back home (Hardin County, Iowa) and kept it a secret for four months.  Why?  Well, my grandpa told me that they didn't have a place of their own yet, so they both just continued to live with their mothers until they could afford a place of their own. 

I almost never found this out--it was very near the end of my grandpa's life when we were talking about it and he told me this.  My mother had not known this story about her own parents.  I'm the nosy one who likes to ask questions.  And I'm glad of that. 

Looking through our quilt collection last week, my mother informed me that this quilt was the one that my great-grandma, Hannah Price, made for her son and his new bride.  Just exactly when, we don't know, but I like to imagine that she started to make it about the time they announced their marriage. 

It's not a double wedding ring, but I think it is very beautiful:

Here's what the back looks like:
You might notice the binding looks a bit out of place--and also that it is the same fabric on the vintage quilt I blogged about last week; apparently my grandma had several quilts re-bound with this same fabric.  I love the fabric used for the back of this quilt.  Several of our quilts just have plain white backs or are backed with a blanket; perhaps since this quilt was for a special occasion, Hannah purchased fabric especially for the quilt back.  That likely would have been a splurge back in 1932; my grandpa told me of how they had very little money to spend during the Depression years and so I think it's safe to assume the same would have been true for his mother.  Note the beautiful quilting--the tiny stitches and the beautiful quilting pattern.  I suspect my great-grandmother did the quilting by hand, but that's just a hunch.  Maybe after some investigation I will be able to learn more about these quilts, and hopefully more about my great-grandmother as well. 
Looking at our vintage quilts has gotten me interested in learning more about traditional quilt blocks so I can identify these quilts.  Any help or feedback you may have is totally welcome and appreciated! 

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