Family Quilts – part 5


Today’s family quilt belonged to my grandmother, and it was apparently a gift to her from her church family.  She was a preacher’s wife in the little town of Megargel, Texas from 1929-1935.  Similar to another signature quilt, this quilt features signatures of various women friends which were lovingly hand-embroidered.  Before my aunt passed away, I had a wonderful conversation with her about the quilt, and read the names to her.  She confirmed that they were members of the church in Megargel.  It is interesting to note how many of them wrote “Mrs. So-and-so” instead of using their first and last names.  It is also very interesting that one block has my grandmother’s name on it!  Why would she sign a block for her own quilt?  All I can guess is that they didn’t tell her it was intended as a gift for her until it was done–that way they didn’t have to hide it.  But that’s just my speculation.  Her block is special–it is signed “Sister Smith.”  If this was a going-away gift, the quilt would be about 79 years old.


I’d love to know the name of this block–it reminds of one called “cross and crown” but is not the same.  The condition of the quilt is rather poor–it is stained, and many of the fabrics used have faded or worn away.  Here is a photo of a good block (notice how they ran out of one fabric and had to substitute another):


Thanks for stopping by to see my old family quilts!

For the sake of genealogical internet research, I will list the names here.  I did my best with reading them, but some of them are not embroidered very well:

Clara Shelley

Mrs E. W. Shelley

J. M. Selph

Bertha Selph

Alma Ragle

Leona Ragle

Mrs. Freeman

Nonnie Lovern

Lucy Lovern

Mrs. G.E. Vickers

Mrs. J.R. Vickers

Mrs. Holmes

Mrs. J. I. B.

Mrs. T.V. Carr

Mrs. J. L. Smith

Mrs. Jenkins

Mrs. C.B. Carler

Annie Sims

Pat Hardegras

Sister Smith

The Family Quilts – Part 4

Today’s quilt is quite a treasure–not only does it tell who made it and when, but also who it was for!  This is unusual in old quilts, and this one is 80 years old.


My sweet grandmother made this quilt, and presented it to my daddy on the occasion of his 12th birthday.   They were living in Megargel, Texas at the time, and she was a busy preacher’s wife with three children.  But somewhere in the midst of it all, she found time to make this quilt.

Grandfather & Grandmother Smith




While piecing this quilt, apparently Grandmother ran out of her pink and blue fabric, and had to substitute a different shade.  Quilters today would be horrified to do such a thing, but in those days you made do with what you had.


This quilt has a mixture of machine and hand piecing, and is quilted by hand.  The backing is plain muslin, and it appears that the backing was brought to the front to form a binding, which has not survived the years very well.

There is an unusual feature to this quilt that I’ve never seen before.  A gauzy piece of fabric was sewn across the top part of the quilt after it was finished, and it is embroidered with the words “Presented to Bassil Smith By Mother July 20, 1934”. Isn’t that the neatest thing?  That part of the quilt is in terrible shape, and I hope to restore it by gently tacking it onto a similar backing fabric.



Thanks for joining me for this step back into the past!

The Family Quilts – part 3

Today’s family quilt belonged to my husband’s stepmother.  She helped to raise him in his formative years, and was much beloved by us all.  I do not know who actually made the quilt, but I would guess it to be someone in her family.  Lois herself was busy raising 7 children of her own, and then helping with my husband and his brothers, so there wasn’t much time for quilting.

vista calendar 5-001

This quilt has some worn areas which show the filler of a single layer of flannel.  The backing is plain muslin, and a previous binding of dark blue has worn away. It was hand pieced and hand quilted, but there is some machine stitching where the binding used to be.  It was much used and much loved!



Lois encouraged me in my early quilting efforts, and loved the bow tie pattern.  She always wanted me to make a bow tie quilt, and I did, but not until after she had passed away unexpectedly.  Here is the quilt I made in her honor, from my extensive selection of plaid scraps:


Thanks for joining me for this walk down memory lane!

The Family Quilts – part 2

Today we will look to my husband’s side of the family for our family quilt.  His grandmother was named Geraldine Iris, and she had her hands full raising six children in the Dust Bowl days.  But somewhere in there, she found time to quilt, and underneath the quilting frame was a fine place to play.

blog picI have no idea when she made this quilt, but I know she made many.  All her quilts that I have seen were very practical, designed to be used and worn out.  She used the materials she had on hand, and kept her family warm.

P1040342This pattern is called Rail Fence, Fence Posts or Roman Square.  She machine pieced the squares, and then quilted them in crosswise stripes.  The backing is plain muslin, and it has a single layer bias binding of solid pink.  The whole quilt is in remarkable good shape, considering it is at least 30-40 years old, and possibly even older.

P1040343I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip into the past–stay tuned for the next family quilt soon!

The Family Quilts


This lovely quilt was made by my grandmother, Amanda Elizabeth.  She was not always in good health, and did not have money for anything that was not also useful, so it has plenty of scraps.  Apparently she did have a good supply of pink!

matthews family

She is sitting on the arm of the chair, next to my grandfather.  That’s Mother holding the cat–she always did love cats!


According to my Blockbase software, this pattern has been called Boston Puzzle, Winding Blade, and Baseball (how unromantic!)   The circles are hand appliqued on top of machine stitched 4-patches.  The quilting follows the lines of the patches, about 3/8 ” away.  The backing is a thin, rough-looking fabric–probably cheap stuff.  The quilt is in good shape, considering its age ( at least 63 years old) with just a few stains on the back.  Perhaps it was kept back from heavy use, and saved as a special quilt.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into my family quilt collection!  We’ll do it again soon.