Thursday, January 17, 2008

Basket Baby Quilt

Some of you know of my passion for old quilts. Actually, I enjoy and appreciate all textiles, and the older the better! Little bits of lace or trims, aprons, tea towels, quilts, doilies, and frayed bits of this or that are saved and appreciated over and over again. Each piece seems to call to me, asking me to touch and feel its smooth or nubby texture. Going through a museum or quilt show where the rules say "Don't touch" is really difficult for me! My mother-by-marriage recognized this trait in me years ago, and lovingly passed along old textiles, some of which had been in the family for many years. Pieces of Great-Aunt Pansy's hand-made lace, an old doily from Grandmother Gladys' cedar chest, or a Batik wall-hanging from Great-Aunt Edith are pieces I treasure because they are interesting and because they represent our family heritage. Years ago my mother-by-marriage also gave me the beautiful baby quilt that Grandmother Gladys made for husband Brent when he was born. It's not a quilt with bunnies or cowboys or other stylized figures of the era, but rather a simple pieced 'basket quilt'. Plain muslin makes up the background and a variety of patterns and colors compose each basket block. Made in the mid-50's, the quilt shows much loving wear, but has not frayed or torn. A bright backing dotted with colorful paintbrushes makes up the back piece and a plain yellow binding trims the edges. Although called a 'baby quilt' by the family, this quilt nearly fits a twin-size bed. I guess one could call it a generous baby quilt!

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