The story of this quilt starts in the 1920s and 30s, during the drought and the great depression, when things cost very little, but people also had very little.
There was a Jewish gentleman who used to come to farm houses selling what he called “dress goods.” The pieces were 3 ½ yards long and 36 inches wide. It was enough to make a simple dress or two aprons. He drove a large open car with cases of cloth and a crate. He came three times a year – spring, summer and fall.
He really had a sales pitch and rarely left without a sale of perhaps a dollar, a chicken or eggs.
I remember him draping a piece of cloth over my shoulders and telling me I looked like a little “princess” and the same line for Mom, only she looked like a “queen.” So our dresses and aprons were sewn on the old treadle sewing machine, but looking like a queen or princess never happened.
The quilt was made from the scraps of this cloth, as nothing was wasted in those days. So by saving the pieces and trading with friends and family, Mom finally had enough to make a quilt. She got a pattern from Aunt Julia Lading and made these blocks, but never got to put them together, as at that time there was no money for buying batting or backing cloth. She had planned how she wanted them put together by laying them out on the bed and stacked them that way when they were put in storage. As years passed, they were simply forgotten.
I found them when sorting things in Mother’s home after she passed away in 1992, so the batting and backing are of this time. I put them together as she had planned. They had to wait a long time to become a quilt.
May you, who get this quilt, enjoy it as Mother and I enjoyed making it.
A lucky raffle ticket holder will win the quilt and four additional tickets will be drawn for a “Collection of Pine Island Area Historical Society Memorabilia” including a one year membership to the Society.
Raffle tickets will go on sale June 1, 2009. Tickets will be $1.00 each.
Tickets may be purchased at the History Center and/or from members of the Historical Society or by sending a check to Pine Island Area Historical Society, P O Box 165, Pine Island MN 55963 with raffle tickets written in the note area of the check.
The drawing will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2009 at the Historical Society’s Annual Ice Cream Social to be held in conjunction with PAPA’s (Pine Island Area People for the Arts) summer band concert featuring the “Polka Dots”.