One of the things about my cabin that always surprises me is the fact that we continue to use the quilts made by my great grandmother. As a kid I was always just impressed by how old they are, but now that I've been knitting for a few years and doing my own craft, this year I was a little shocked and extremely amazed both that these quilts are still in use and that they are still in such good shape!
Here's the first one, a Winter Quilt, made using squares of fabric from old men's suits.
I think it's the newest of the four I will show you, and therefore is the one I slept with because I didn't feel like I was going to rip it in half in the middle of the night. Of course, it's not new by any means, but it is definitely still in good shape and is a very warm, very sturdy quilt.
The second one is a "Crazy Quilt" made by my Great Grandmother, Cora. It was made using whatever scraps of fabric she had lying around, sewn together in no set pattern or order (although looking at this picture of the whole thing, you can tell that one half is much more colorful than the other.)
This next quilt has an interesting story. It wasn't made by my Great Grandma, but it was made for her husband.
He had been traveling through the country (for some reason that no one seems to remember) and drank out of a stream that was known to have very clean water. Unfortunately, he wasn't aware that there was a dead cow upstream from him, and he got sick with Typhoid Fever.
(Side note, my mother just informed me that he was born in 1869 and was most likely traveling in his twenties, which would put this quilt sometime in the 1890s, which I can't believe because it really doesn't look that old...)
Lucky for him, the stream out of which he drank was near the property of a farm owner, who very graciously took him in while he recovered, and during the 6 months that he stayed on their farm, a nice woman (I'm assuming the farmer's wife, who would have taken care of him) made him this quilt. I slept with this one a few times as well, because it is much thinner than the Winter Quilt. I had no idea it was potentially so old!
The last quilt is another Crazy Quilt made by Great Grandmother Cora.
She made this one when she was only 17 years old, how impressive is that?! And look at the year...
It is all hand-sewn and these quilts were made not only to use scraps of fabric, but also to show off your mad sewing skills. Look at all the different stitches that were used to make this quilt, all done by hand!
I'm sure all of these quilts should be framed and put in a museum instead of sitting in a musty chest in a cabin in North Dakota, but that is simply one of the charms of my cabin, so far removed from the busy city life. I have dreams of creating wonderful knitted items that will become heirlooms just as these quilts have. Check back in 100 years and we'll see if I accomplished that goal.