Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home is ... an old quilt

This quilt is at least 86 years old. It is one of the oldest things in my possession, although it’s not alone, as I am blessed to have a number of old things (including other quilts) that I consider family heirlooms. None of the items I have are worth all that much, but they’re priceless in my eyes.

This quilt was made by my great-grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother... how’s that for confusing?). Her name was Edna Earl, but she was called Kate (pictured on the right in the photograph below, with her sister). She made this quilt and gave it to her son (my grandfather) and her new daughter-in-law (my grandmother) the first winter after their marriage in 1924. It was a custom back then. If your son or daughter got married, you gifted the newlyweds with a quilt for their first winter together. I must say I rather like that cozy custom.

As you can imagine, after years and years of use, this quilt is not in pristine condition, but I like that even more. I adore things with a rich history. The idea of my grandparents using this quilt in the early years of their marriage, then wrapping their two children up in it (one of them being my mother), or making a pallet for a sleeping toddler, perhaps, fills me to the brim with warmth.

Although I handle it carefully, the quilt is still being used today. Right now, it's draped across one of my sofas, just waiting for me to gather its softness around me as I seek out a bit of comfort on some rainy evening.

In my opinion, an old quilt is the perfect definition of "home."


I'm sharing this post as part of Sandy's weekly Home is ... series.


  1. I agree! What a nice quilt. It would be comforting to cozy up in that on a cold day and read a good book. Those are wonderful to display. I was recently at an antique shop which had a collection of old red-white and blue quilts that I was tempted to buy, but not enough to spend that much money! What a blessing that you still have this one:)

  2. I would agree with you Dayle. The old quilt definitely is comfy and is a good definition of home. Lovely, by the way. Sincerely, Susan

  3. So perfect to read this morning as it is a bit chilly outside and damp. I loved reading your post. I had no idea that it was a custom to give a married couple a quilt for their first winter together. What a romantic idea! Thank you for the nice post!

  4. I'm so glad you use it! It's lovely!

  5. I love quilts and that one is beautiful!!

  6. Quilts ARE such a homey touch. I am really enjoying this party today b/c I love reading the stories behind each of the heirlooms. It's so cool that you know specifically where your quilt is from. Thanks so much for the visit today! :)

  7. Hello Dayle, so nice to meet you and thanks for linking up today. I love your quilt, the homey feeling of a quilt, and the story behind it! I've been featured on Dr. Dobson and his magazine too. Hope to visit more!


  8. one of my aunts makes the most beautiful quilts...i love the older ones that are so so soft.
    beautiful one you have!

  9. Cozy quilts don't just warm the body, they warm the soul. XOXO

  10. I am so glad that you use these quilts instead of just storing them away. Because they are not in pristine condition makes them all the more charming.

  11. I am partial to quilts anyway, but to read the memories this one holds... priceless.

    I understand why this would be a treasured heirloom... wow!

  12. I completely agree! I love family quilts and the story they tell. I have an old quilt TOP, which for some odd reason was never made into a quilt. I still love it, finished or not.

    Yours is lovely!

  13. I love this quilt. We have one made by my husband's great grandma for him-it's well used, by him as a boy and by us now. It's a treasure for sure!

  14. Hi Dayle,
    I purchased a lovely, old quilt top(don't think I will have it finished - I like it the way it is). It is mostly white with pastel "stars" and it is so soft. It is not in pristine condition either, but that just adds to the charm. Thanks for showing us your beautiful heirloom and I love the picture of your great-grandmother and her sister.


  15. That's just simply amazing. I love a good quilt, and I'm sure that one keeps you warm in more ways that one. How nice to be able to wrap your whole family around you.

  16. Hey. Even though I follow you for some reason I'm not getting your updates. OK. I take that back. I just looked and even though I subscribe to your feeds through Blogger I am not a follower. (I fixed that.) Anyway I haven't read this post, but we must be kindred spirits. Maybe one day Nora will look at the quilt made by her great-grandmother and feel like she's home.

  17. I looove old quilts too! Your quilt is beautiful. I love the custom of giving quilts to newlyweds too.

  18. One of the main things I remember about visiting my grandmother was that she had quilts on both of her beds. It was in the early 50s and blankets were the popular things for beds and my parents had replaced some of their quilts with blankets. I remember thinking how old fashioned those quilts looked. Now I would love to have one of them. This post brought back memories. I'm so glad you have that lovely quilt with all of its memories.

  19. Hi Dayle, I love quilts too and have treasured ones from family. I love them soo much that I finally joined a quilt bee and learned to quilt. I'm so glad that I now can quilt on my great grandmothers antique postage stamp quilt.

    There was no one left in our family who knew how to quilt after Grandma died. That baton almost got dropped! My daughter is not interested..but hopefully a granddaughter will be!

    They are so precious to keep as family heirlooms!

  20. How wonderful to find a picture of my sweet MeMa,
    Kate Kynard, and read the story of the quilt!
    I have a baby quilt she made for me some 69 years ago, but it has been loved to pieces. I also
    have the quilt my dad's mom made for him when he
    and my mother married in 1933. Have lots of
    others handed down in the family - my aunts and
    grandmother Westfaul were all quilters. Sometimes
    I like to hold them and feel the strength and
    love handed down through precious hands. Artists
    of love....

  21. Dayle,
    Any idea of the date the picture of Kate Kynard
    and Aunt May Fant Davis as taken?
    By the way, I am here as greenrose! :)


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle