Grandmother's Pride


My grandmother Sarah Martin Whitten died in 1914, two years before I was born. I feel I know her because I inherited her quilt, "Grandmother"s Pride.

If her quilt could talk, it would no doubt tell how the different patches were made from the scraps of Grandpa or Uncle Festus's shirts, Grandma's aprons, Mama's dresses or scraps from Great Grandma's scrap bag. Hows the batts were carded from scrap cotton by the flickering light of the fireplace. Quilting thread was twine raveled from flower or sugar sacks and dyed with walnut hulls in the iron wash pot after the clothes had finished boiling on wash-day. Her quilt might tell about going with the family in a covered wagon from Arkansas to Texas and back in the 1800s and how it kept the children warm as they camped along the way.  It might tell how it was a comfort to Grandpa after the death of Grandma.

I am the only granddaughter who has continued the tradition of quilting. As I have struggled to learn to use the thimble and to master some of the techniques of quilting, I would like to think my work might be the pride of my Grandmother.Grandmother's Pride

The story "Grandmother's Pride" was written before the quilt was appraised in 1966. A certified quilt appraiser from Missouri estimated that the quilt was made in the 1870-1880 period, judging from the newest fabric that was used. She said the sashings were green originally but green was not a very fast color so it faded to tan.

When I told her about the story I had written and that in my imagination the quilt went with the family to Texas in a covered wagon, she said the quilt looked like a covered wagon quilt.

The estimated value of the quilt is $650.