As this is to be the final episode of Tuesday Treasures I thought I’d better hunt out my very special patchwork treasure.
After a bit of a search through the blanket box it was located.
As usual, there is a story behind this treasure.
When we were kids we would go down to Grandma’s in the May and August school holidays, just Mum, my brother and I, as Dad would still be at work. I would share Mum’s big (for a little girl) three quarter size bed and my brother would be in the daybed. Sometimes the three of us would be in the big bed singing “There were three in the bed and the middle one said ‘Roll Over, Roll Over’, so they all rolled over and one fell out”. It was good fun.
I always loved the bedspread. Some years ago I asked Mum if she knew what had become of it. She wasn’t sure, so next time she was down there she asked the question. “Oh, that old thing, I used it to cover the tractor to keep the frost off it”. Mum’s heart sank. “Pink, wasn’t it?” Mum felt a wave of relief. “No, it was blue.” After a bit of a rat around, the bedspread was found in the bottom of a wardrobe, so she brought it home and I now have it.
In 1952 Mum and Uncle Chris went to Queensland for a holiday visiting cousins. While they were away Grandma got busy and made a new bedspread for Mum’s bed.
Unfortunately, it is rather dull here this morning, so the photos are a bit washed out. The colours are actually quite a bit more vibrant.
The top of the bedspread is a pretty cretonne with a floor length skirt of blue lawn. Unfortunately, the lawn is very faded and fragile and has some holes appearing in it. It needs a good wash, but I’m worried it will fall apart, so it just gets stored as is.
The best bit is the reverse side. Now, my memory had played tricks on me, as I could have sworn it was made of crazy patchwork, but when Mum gave it to me this is what it looks like. As it fits a three quarter bed it is a bit big for this bed.
The fabrics are all dressmaking scraps and Mum can identify many as being her childhood clothes from the 30s. Zoom in to have a closer look at the pattern details.
It is actually a “Wagga”. The patchwork is machine quilted onto an old blanket and then the skirt is sandwiched between the patchwork and the cretonne, thereby not showing the quilting lines on the top of the bedspread. I’ve never seen another Wagga that has a skirt.
Notice a blue fabric with leaves on it in the top right had corner of the next photo.
In the early 80s I covered a coat hanger in patchwork and I used that same fabric. It had migrated to Mum’s scrap bag over the years. It then moved to my stash and I still have a tiny bit of it.
I used to love looking through Grandma’s scrap bag. There were beautiful 30s fabrics. Yes, I can remember some of the ones in the bedspread being in the scrap bag. There were also lovely rayons that always felt so nice and the designs were gorgeous. I assume they have all been tossed out. That’s the way things go. Not everything can be kept.
By the way, the bedspread was made with Grandma’s old Singer treadle machine. It is a 1918 model that Granddad bought at an auction sale in 1928, just AFTER Grandma had finished making all Uncle Chris’ baby clothes by hand……and yes, I have it sitting in the lounge room. It still sews beautifully, but Mum reckons it is nowhere near as good as it was before she sewed a leather handbag on it! She used if for all her Tech sewing for many years. Mum very nearly sold the sewing machine some years ago. Fortunately, she mentioned her intention and I ended up with it. She didn’t think I’d want it as I already had a treadle machine. Wrong!
The old chair sitting in front of it was Grandma’s chair that came from that same auction in the 20s. I can still picture Grandma sitting in her chair by the window, with my brother on her lap reading him “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and “The Little Red Hen”. She was the only one who could get him to sit still long enough to read him a story and she had to read them over and over again. The chair ended up in a very sorry state in a shed, so Mick and I stripped it back to just the timber frame and then had it reupholstered. I’m not in love with the fabric, but it was the best we could come up with at the time.
I’ve had great fun over the past few weeks sharing some of my treasures. As you can tell, I’m one heck of a hoarder.
Thanks so much Claire for being a wonderful hostess. Pop over to Claire’s to see what other treasures are on show this final week.