Monday, August 27, 2012

vintage quilt monday :: aunt ollie's nine patch


Welcome back for another installment of my Vintage Quilt Mondays series. This week I'm sharing a quilt that is very special to me and my mom, a nine patch quilt made by our aunt Ollie.



 Here's me and my great-great aunt Ollie Belle, circa 1976. I'm pretty sure she made that afghan behind us too. She liked to keep her hands busy and she made all kinds of quilts and crocheted blankets. 




The story goes that my mom asked for one of Aunt Ollie's quilts for her nineteenth birthday, so my grandparents bought this one for her. My mom has had it ever since, and it has been well loved and used often. I remember wrapping up with it on the couch all the time as I was growing up.



Aunt Ollie was my mom's dad's aunt. She grew up in the hills of central Kentucky and made her way north to Ohio, probably around 1910, to look for work. She and her family eventually settled in Franklin, Ohio, a small town between Cincinnati and Dayton.




I was lucky enough to know Aunt Ollie a bit as a child, and I still have the quilt that she made for me when I was born. Aunt Ollie was an avid upcycler before upcycling was cool, as I imagine many in her generation were.



She didn't go to a fabric store to buy supplies for her quilts or crocheted afghans, not that there were many available to her in small town Ohio. So, she would often use old clothing in her work, and this quilt is no exception. The simple nine patch squares are made out of old shirtings, with lots of plaids and ginghams.




She used aqua solid cotton for the cornerstones and the sashing appears to be made out of muslin. Aunt Ollie did all of the piecing and quilting by hand, and this one is tied with a pale yellow yarn. 



I really love the look of the hand piecing.



And the binding is made out of the same white muslin as the sashing.



As I said, this quilt was used a lot over the last 40 or so years, so it's not in the best shape. There are some holes and stains throughout it.



And since Aunt Ollie used old clothing, some of the fabrics wear more than others. This pink, green, and white striped fabric is very sheer and hasn't held up as well as some of the others. 





And this guy...if you look closely in the top picture you can see him too. He's a stray that adopted us this summer. We need another pet like we need a hole in the head (seriously) but I'm sure he's here to stay. I think somebody abandoned him because he's sweet as can be, but he's a skinny little thing. He's headed to the spay and neuter clinic very soon.




Back to Aunt Ollie's quilt. I really love her choice of colors and I think one of these days I'll have to make a similar nine patch our of ginghams and plaids too. It's so bright and fresh and I think the aqua cornerstones are the perfect touch, don't you?

2 comments:

beaquilter said...

what a lovely quilt and great story

Stephanie said...

As much as I love modern quilts, nothing is better than an old family quilt.

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