Patches From the Past
Scraps of Fabric, Sewing & Quilting History

A Gift of Tradition

~ a poem in honor of Judy Anne's great grandmother Hanna ~

Months passed, carefully hand stitching,
convex to concave, each fine seam.
This German woman prided in her work.

Searching though scraps saved from years
of sewing for children, grandchildren;
she cut the shapes needed for each block.

Mother gently touches the fabric from
dresses she wore as a child. We wonder why
this was used twice, others just once.

A sociable woman, how Hanna loved
chatting on that candlestick telephone.
Hands always sewing; time never wasted.

There was not enough green for the gently curved
pieces that pulled together the beauty of the whole.
It was difficult finding more in that small 1920s town.

The quilt appraiser notes the substitution,
perhaps a later dye lot. A valuable quilt,
I'm told. Completely hand made.

Top finished at last, women gathered around the
frame that great grandfather built. Conversation
lively as fingers flew. The quilting soon done.

Her friends admired the unusual design. Four muslin
patches alternating with five calico. Each surrounded
by a ring, the border a series of crescents.

Great Grandmother's gift hanging on my wall.
My sewing machine whirs, stitching fabric
bought, not saved. Quilting a new tradition.

1998 Judy Anne Johnson Breneman (Do not reproduce this poem without permission from the author.)


Hanna's gift

Recommended Website: Hand Quilting History: Gathering Around the Frame

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