Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mom's Turkey Track Quilts

You may think mom only quilted.  Not so.  She helped dad build everything that got built, which was a lot.  She worked in the garden, which was substantial.  You’ll hear about my brother Mel weeding the strawberry patch with a pick ax, some day.  Or the year she went on vacation and I canned half of her garden’s forty bushels of tomatoes.  After work.  After going to another county to pick them.  Mom canned every tomato in sight and a lot of fruit.  The years there were no fork holes in our peach halves were the years there was a kid or grandkid in house with a hand small enough to fit in a quart jar and place a peach half.  We had grape juice year round from the grape arbors mom and dad planted in the back yard.  Current jelly.  Raspberry jam (to die for!).

But mom always picked up hand work in the evening.  Crochet.  Lace edging for pillowcases and scarves.  Knitting.  Four kids to keep in sweaters, plus the occasional stray neighbor kid.  I remember the quilts most of all.  As wedding gifts for each of her children she made Turkey Track Quilts.  She bought enough of a red print to make a different Turkey Track variation in the same fabric for each of her four children. 

Here is my red Turkey Track quilt, and a matching baby quilt she made for the red crib.  Did I mention mom loved red.  So do I.  These quilts have been passed along to Beth.

She had to eke out Jan’s red Turkey Track with a great yellow; there wasn’t enough of the original left and it could not be matched fifteen odd years later.

These are not Turkey Track, but I’m running out of categories.

Bias cut fabric appliquéd to the background.

 In the ‘70’s we girls in the family embroidered a lot of quilt blocks and mom quilted them.  I made one in purples, my sister-in-law Hazel made one or more.  Mom embroidered this one.

Mom offered to make Beth a quilt of her choice to take to college.  Beth selected a new technique; this quilt is folded fabric to resemble a dahlia.  Mom and Beth quilted it; the petals were lifted and a circle quilted around each row.  The quilting on the back of the petal blocks is concentric circles.

The last quilt mom made was for her granddaughter Michelle, Melvin’s daughter.  Michelle picked out the pattern and the fabric.  It was another new technique for mom, rotary cut pieces and blocks assembled on the sewing machine.  Mom was fascinated.  What she could have done!  She was quite ill when she put it together; Jan had to help her shift the weight of the fabric as the quilt grew larger.  Mom admired it, and said she was sorry she would not live to quilt it.  “Come one, Ma, we’ll help.”  But she ran out of time.  We had it quilted by an Amish family that was saving for a train trip to visit their son in Wisconsin.  Mom would have liked that part, too.


  1. Your mom had patience coming out the whazoo.... and talent.

  2. Your mother was amazing. What talent and patience. Your life sounds a lot like mine, with the gardening, canning, and such. My mom always had something by her chair in the living room--crochet, usually. Thanks for the memories.

  3. What works of art! And we use them to cover our beds or snuggle in to watch TV. What a legacy your Mom left you! Thank you so much for sharing her life with us!