“I ordered a package of scraps. I’ll send you some in the next letter.” From Evelyn Isaacs Combs letter of September 24, 1933 to her sister, Ruby Isaacs Roe
By Gerry Roe/edited by Betsy Cross Thorpe
The threads of quilting run deep in my family. I have a treasured, handed down, bow -tied patterned quilt my paternal grandmother made for mother in 1929. It is displayed in my home. It is made of 320 individual hand-sewn blocks of red, white and black fabric. The most distinctive feature of the quilt is that one corner block is entirely different in design. That personalized block was made from scraps left over from material my grandmother used to make a dress for my mother.
My mother was also a quilter. Her mother taught her to make hand sewn quilts when she was young. My mother purchased a White treadle sewing machine sometime after we moved to Oregon in 1946. She used it for mending, quilt-making and to make clothes. She never bought another machine. She used that sewing machine for the rest of her life. .
My mother taught me how, to hand quilt and to sew clothes on her treadle machine. I inherited it from her, it now belongs to me and is one of my most valued possessions.
I took up quilting again later in life—this time around I used an electric machine. I made a quilt for each of my two grandchildren. They are tucked away safely inside their treasure boxes, where they will remain until the time is right for me to hand them down to them. May it last as long and be as treasured as my grandmother’s quilt that was handed down to me.