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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Quilts our mother slept under

We lost four of the last five of Mom’s generation in a year and a half of 1996 to 1998, including Uncle Hank, mom’s brother.  In 1998 Aunt Flo became the last of my parent’s generation. Uncle Hank was married to Aunt Flo.  They lived in Cleveland and their son and daughter-in-law lived in Colorado.    We kept Aunt Flo involved with the family, and drove her to family doings.  It probably was twenty minutes from our house to hers.

One time Jan went to pick her up Aunt Flo had Jan put a large metal case in the car.  When it was opened at our house Aunt Flo explained it had been stored by Grandma Rolf in her attic and contained quilts she believed Grandma Rolf “had made for herself.”  She added she had shown the quilts to a friend who admired one and paid her $200 for it.  We did a lot of tongue biting.  At least she had the courtesy to return the balance to the proper people.

My Grandma Rolf was a fine needle woman, but quilting never interested her.  Her mother-in-law, Grandma Troike, was the quilter, and passed the love and skill a generation to our mother.  The metal box was full of quilts we know were made by Grandma Troike and some early quilts of Mom’s.  The missing quilts that mom slept under and never knew what happened to them.

The Missing Tulip Quilt is fascinating.  It surely was made by Grandma Troike and was on mom’s bed on West 21st Street.  Mom remarked on the loss of that quilt; she had no idea where it went.  Before we moved here she decided to replicate it, from memory.  Like the great majority of her quilts, the Tulip Quilt is appliqué.  She would trace a pattern onto fabric, cut it out and fell it to a background.  With invisible stitches.  I never mastered invisible stitching.  The needlework gene went to Jan; she’s a beautiful stitcher.

This is Grandma Troike’s Tulip Quilt, The Missing Tulip Quilt,  that was on mom’s bed on 21st Street. 

The quilting uses a tulip motif.  There are no sashings and the blocks have a red frame.

This is Mom’s Tulip Quilt, reproduced from memory sixty years later. 

The quilting has a tulip motif. Mom used red sashings and a green border strip.  She drew essentially the same tulip for her pattern.  Incredible.
 Mom used it on her bed in this house.


  1. Keeping it in that box was the best thing...with no exposure to sun look how bright the colours are. Amazing. Thank goodness they stayed in the family.

  2. Grandma Rolf knew how to store them! We wonder where she got that metal case.

  3. Inspiration and perfection remain inspiration and perfection - even 60 years later! Beautiful, beautiful quilts. Great memory!