Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I'm Back and a Treasure From Home

What a trip! We made it home safe and sound, though a bit tattered and tired from travel. We were away for twelve whole days. That's the longest trip my family has ever taken. It was fantastic and just the break we all needed. I imagine it will take us a while to get back into our routine. As I type, I have my fourth load of laundry going and I'm busily packing away the flip flops and pulling out the snow boots.

I still need to get all of our vacation photos off of my husband's computer and onto mine so that I can share the glory. But in the meantime, I thought I'd show you this incredible treasure I brought back with me.

I grew up in southern California where most of my family still resides. We broke up our trip to Hawaii with a couple of days in Orange County on either end. My mom has (until now) been the keeper of the heirloom quilts in our family. I shared a couple of quilts made by my great-grandmother a few months ago (you can see that post here). But there were a couple of quilts still collecting dust at my mom's house and I've been meaning to bring them home with me for quite some time. I managed to stuff (carefully, of course) this and one other in my suitcase. I dare say this one's my favorite.

This hexagon quilt was entirely hand-pieced by my grandmother's sister (my great-aunt) Bert. She did this over the course of several years... maybe even decades and the finished quilt was intended to be a gift for my grandmother. From what I understand, most (if not all) of the pieces were cut from old house coats. If you don't know what a house coat is, it was like a loose shirt dress often worn over clothing while doing everyday household tasks. I think they were popular in the 30's, 40's and 50's. But I can remember my grandmother wearing them well into the 80's. My Aunt Bert never finished the quilt. My mom somehow ended up with the stack of finished blocks and surprised my grandmother by having the quilt finished by a quilting professional many years ago. I can remember this quilt draped over the bed in the guest room in my grandma's house growing up. Even then, I studied each little hexagon and drooled over the gorgeous color combinations.

This quilt makes me happy. It's like something you'd see at Anthropologie but it's so much better because it was made by a family member and holds very special memories for me. I guess this quilting stuff gets in your blood. I feel connected to generations past as I cherish these quilts and carry on the tradition with my own handiwork. 

Making a hexagon quilt is probably not in my immediate future. I don't have the time nor the patience for something like this. But I take GREAT inspiration from this quilt. And the best part is that this quilt came with a bag of unused blocks.

My mind is spinning as I think about what to do with all that gorgeousness. Lucky, lucky me.

Thank you, mom, for being a packrat sentimentalist! :-) And thank you, Aunt Bert! I will carry the torch with pride.


  1. It gives me great joy seeing this quilt being admired by many people. Thanks to Aunt Bert and my Mom for passing it on to me so I could pass it on to you, Erin. It is so much happier now that it is out of my closet.

  2. Wow, this is such an heirloom. So much family history there. You are very lucky to have that for your family, and I can't wait to see what you do with those extra blocks :-)

  3. This is so beautifull, I really like your other works.