A Gift of Tradition


Months pass, carefully hand stitching, convex to concave, each fine seam. This German woman prides in her work. Searching though scraps saved from years of sewing for children, grandchildren; she cuts the shapes needed for each block. Mother gently touches the fabric from dresses worn as a child. We wonder why this was used twice, others just once. A sociable woman, how Hanna loves chatting on that candlestick telephone. Hands always sewing; time never wasted. There is not enough green for the gently curved pieces that pull together the beauty of the whole. Itís difficult finding more in a small 1920s town. The quilt appraiser notes the substitution, perhaps a later dye lot. A valuable quilt, Iím told. Completely hand made. Top finished at last, women gather around the frame that great grandfather built. Conversation is lively as fingers fly. The quilting soon done. Her friends admire the unusual design. Four muslin patches alternating with five calico. Each surrounded by a ring, making the border a series of crescents. Grandmotherís gift hanging on my wall. Sewing machine whirs, stitching fabric bought, not saved. Quilting a new tradition. © 1998 Anne Johnson

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