I Remember Laura--Quilted Memories

Miss Sandy at Quill Cottage is hosting a series of activities during the month of June in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Today's blog-a-thon entry is about Quilted Memories.

"On Sundays Mary and Laura must not run or shout or be noisy in their play. Mary could not sew on her nine-patch quilt, and Laura could not knit on the tiny mittens she was making for Baby Carrie. They might look quietly at their paper dolls, but they must not make anything new for them. They were not allowed to sew on doll clothes, even with pins."
~Little House in the Big Woods, Chapter 5, Sundays~
~Laura Ingalls Wilder~

I have always loved the Little House books. I remember reading "Little House in the Big Woods" when I was in kindergarten. I received the boxed set of books for my 7th birthday and read them all cover-to-cover. I still have them, well-loved and oft-repaired.

I always wanted to live like Laura, and played "pioneer days" often as a child. I never picked up the arts of homemaking, though. I can do perfunctory clothing repairs, like replacing buttons minor hems, etc. Lately, though, I've become intrigued with quilting, so maybe I'll be like Mary and do a nine-patch quilt.

When my great-grandmother was alive, she made quilts. Whenever a new baby was born, or a couple was married, they received a quilt from Grandma. I still have mine as it (and I) nears its fortieth year. Unfortunately, some of the squares were polyester, so they have literally disintegrated over the years. My mom has been after me to cut it down to a more manageable size (it fits a twin bed) and just keep it as a memory quilt. I can't bear the thought of not having it, though.

My great-grandma was born in northern Wisconsin in 1889, and died in her late nineties. She was a schoolteacher in her single days, and didn't marry until well into her twenties (an "old maid" by those standards). She lived by herself after her husband died, and she herself died shortly after she was moved into a nursing home. She raised four children, and lived to see them all married with children of their own, and some of them having children of their own. During her lifetime, she was even blessed with a great-great grandchild.

Today, I not only remember Laura Ingalls Wilder, but also Mary Smetana Steffek.


Love Bears All Things said...

I enjoyed reading about the memories of your Grandma. I was thinking the boxed set of Laura's books would make a great gift for my youngest granddaughter who is 7.
My daughter had a Winnie The Pooh crib quilt when she was little. It grew up with her and became well loved. Several years ago, I encased it in a new cover and quilted it on the machine. I used a Winnie The Pooh sheet for one side and a flannel piece with red hearts on the other. She now has her original loved quilt but within a new cover to protect it. Maybe you could find some old fabric to repair your quilt with or use it for the batting for a new one. You'd still know it was there inside. Or you could buy one of those quilt display pieces with the glass front and keep it as is inside.
Mama Bear

Barbara H. said...

What sweet memories of your grandmother!

There was a time when I thought it would have been neat to have been a pioneer woman, but I don't know if I have what it would have taken!! But I do admire Ma Ingalls and others like her.

Carrie said...

Yes, I agree that it would be good to do something to conserve the condition of the quilt. Nice post!

Carolyn said...

Kim loved those books too. She read them cover to cover and over and over again!
Great Post!

suburban prep said...

I loved all the Little House books. Love the tv series. begged my parents to take us to the location in Simi Valley that they filmed the show. Have that picture of us there. I was obsessed with these when I was younger.
I saved all the books for my little girls when I had them. I am unable to have them so I guess they will be going to a niece.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

What precious memories you have!

A Hint of Home said...

I watch Little House every chance I get. They don't make TV shows like that anymore. What a shame.
I wish you had shown even the worn quilt. I'm sure it has so many special memories.

Denise said...

What special memories! There's nothing like a good book to ignite a child's imagination and nothing like a quilt to revive fond old memories! Thank you for taking the time to share!

Have a blessed weekend!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

These women not only were the fabric of a family, they were the fabric of a nation. Wonderful to read about your very special great-grandmother.

Miss Sandy said...

What perfectly sweet memories and such a wonderful tribute to your own great-grandmother! She sounds like a she was a woman of true pioneer spirit. I truly enjoyed your post and am looking forward to more!

Miss Sandy