Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quilts by Lucy

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I loaned three of my grandmother's quilts to the local museum for use in a special exhibit during the month of May. With the heavy work crush and two weekends out of town, I almost forgot about the event. I decided it would be a good idea to plan on stopping by the museum after my DAR meeting on Saturday.

I had asked the curator how she planned to showcase the quilts and she had described how she would hang some of them and drape others over a collection of white lattice panels. They used both of those methods, but they also placed some of the quilts on the furniture that is on permanent exhibit. An old bed stead was wearing a historic quilt. An antique baby carriage had a small baby quilt tucked into it. Every room of the museum had splashes of color here and there from quilts made out of everything from tobacco and flour sacks to satins.

Grandma Lucy's three quilts were shown to their best advantage.

The quilt closest to the front edge of the photo is one of her string quilts. On the far wall is a signature quilt with blocks made by several members of the family including Lucy herself, her daughters Nettie and Bettye, her mother Nettie Mason, her sister-in-law Dixie Rose and Dixie's daughter Betty.

Below is a closer look at the signature quilt. It is one of the prizes of my varied collection of family heirlooms.

The last of the three quilts was a simple pattern of diamond shapes on one side and squares on the reverse, and they showcased both sides by draping it across a display case.

The museum had managed to assemble quilts from a half-dozen or so of their members and there were quilts of every type and material. I was very impressed with the whole exhibit and very pleased with the treatment they gave to my own contributions.

If you decide to stop by the museum to take a look (the exhibit ends on May 31st, $2 entry fee and be sure to check the hours before you make the trip), let me warn you that they did make a few bobbles in the information posted with the quilts. They confused the quilt shown first above with another quilt I had pictured on my website and which is in my Uncle Larry's possession. The one on display is not the quilt that was quilted around an old army blanket. And I know full well that my grandfather did not grow cotton as a cash crop, as they describe. When the curator was making her notes, I mentioned that my grandparents grew a variety of things but that their cash crops were peanuts, cantaloupes and watermelons. Somehow the peanuts turned into cotton by the time the descriptive placards were written. I suspect that is because they have been having an on-going cotton industry display for the last few months. Minor details that no one but us Hodge kin will catch as errors.

I am very proud of my grandmother's quilts and happy that they are getting this chance to get some public attention. I can remember her quilting frame that was raised to the ceiling out of the way and and lowered to working height when she was ready to spend some time crafting. I myself do not like to sew and stand in awe of the mountain of quilts she turned out.

I am more likely to tackle a doll house and one of the latest on my craft table is intended to be a quilt shop. In a small way, it will help me re-connect to my grandmother.


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