Tuesday, September 2, 2008

REMEMBERING ROSE & ART


Rose and Art Flint were friends of my Portfors grandparents. I think they met in Troy where both couples lived early in their marriages (1906 – 1910). Eventually they moved apart, but they remained good friends and visited in one another's homes.

Rose and Art had three children -- a daughter, Mary Catherine, and two sons. Mother had stories from her youth about the Flint family. My favorite was that Rose saved teacups with broken handles to throw at Art when she was mad at him. I've always marveled at that because I have no teacups with broken handles; do you? How far we have come!

I thought of Rose and Art the other day as I squared quilt blocks. One day when I was probably in junior high, Rose and Art came to see my mother. A broken-hearted Rose had with her several vintage quilts and quilt tops in various stages of completion. Now in her 80s, she knew she could not finish the quilts and her daughter and daughters-in-law had refused them – all of them. My sympathetic mother took them, of course, and she and Nina toyed with the idea of finishing them for years. Nina was particularly interested in the yo-yo quilt and would occasionally make yo-yos of the vintage fabric.

There was one – a postage stamp quilt – that just needed to be quilted. Mother said she would have to find a quilting bee to quilt it. "Why don't we just do it on the machine?" I asked. I was summarily advised that machine quilting was a no-no – that to be done properly, a quilt must be hand quilted on a frame by means of fine stitches and not just anyone could do it. It took special skill to be a hand quilter.

Eventually Mother found a quilting group that quilted the quilt for her – for a "pretty penny" even in that time – and Mother put it on the bed in my old room. I didn't like it. It was predominantly shades of orange and green and my room was white and pink. So, when Mother's collection of vintage quilts was divided, I chose the one with appliqu├ęd cats in baskets. I think it came from the Flint collection as well. "No telling some people's tastes," muttered Joni as she happily went off with the orange and green quilt.

And as we cleaned out Mother's house, we found that box of unfinished quilt tops. Now examining them closely, we saw how askew they were, and let them go. Oh the things you regret!

[The top photo shows the quilt top I am struggling to make. The good news is that as I worked to square the blocks the creative juices began to flow and I understood what I had to do. The second photo is the vintage "cats" quilt spread out on the bed in "Hallie's" room. The photo on the wall is Mike's Aunt Dola.] KW

5 comments:

chris miller said...

I am smiling--

Chris

Hallie said...

Once I have a bigger place I will begin to shop and save for the perfect fabrics. I will employ Nick's help for color and layout since I'm no good with that. Then Mom and I will have many sewing parties to put the quilt together. It's a twenty year plan. ;-P

Note: Nick has the board for the bottle caps. Now he'll build a frame on the back of the board for support and hanging. Stay tuned for pictorial progress reports!

Kathy said...

I'm looking forward to the pictorial progress reports.

The whole color combination thing seems daunting to me, too, but I hope to overcome as I get into it. I'm thinking of starting with some smaller projects from kits. I was surprised when an acquaintance, an experienced quilter, mentioned that she had picked up fabrics in shades of blue but the end project was not to her liking. So, I guess it can happen to anyone. KW

Leah said...

The handles were broken off the teacups when she was doing dishes. The faucet hung over the sink and after she washed the cup and was placing it on the drainboard, it hit the faucet spigot. At least that's a good theory.

Leah said...

The handles were broken off the teacups when she was doing dishes. The faucet hung over the sink and after she washed the cup and was placing it on the drainboard, it hit the faucet spigot. At least that's a good theory.