Monday, April 30, 2012
Every Quilt Tells a Story - Belmont High 1932
I have been working on a most unusual quilt. Monica Bartels and I are both in a quilting group with a number of other wonderful ladies.
Monica's Mother, Marguerite Keyes passed away this year at the age of 98 years old. When Monica was cleaning out her Mother's home she came across a brown paper bag with chrome yellow squares with embroidery names in bubble gum pink stitching. On closer inspection Monica realized these squares were traced autographs from the Belmont High School class of 1932. This would be the 80 year class reunion!
Apparently Marquerite gathered the signatures and embroidered over them. Monica thinks a couple of the signatures may have been teachers. One of the signatures, Vincent Donahoe, was my father. Another, Cecilia Donahoe, was my aunt, Dad's sister.
All the fabric is original from 1932. The blocks were in the bag and I cut the sashing blocks. The fabric was 36" wide. The blocks were cut at 7" squares (remember rotary cutters weren't used in the 30's) and when our quilting group assembled the quilt top, I didn't do any squaring up on the blocks. I kept reminding them they were working in the 30's! I did starch and press the blocks before sewing.
What are we going to do with the quilt? Only one student from the class is still alive. Helen Buss was a school teacher in Belmont, still lives in Belmont and is in good health. Monica is going to present the quilt to Helen Buss to use as a lap robe.
Can you tell this was an exciting meaningful project for me????
Here are pictures of a few of the blocks:
Monica's Mother's block: Marguerite Nodolf - Marguerite Keyes. Marguerite did the embroidery and carried the blocks all over the country to a number of different stated that her and her husband, Don, lived in over the years.
Helen Mary Buss's block: Helen will be the recipient of the quilt. Helen never married so she is still Helen Buss.
Vincent Donahoe's block: This was my Dad. Notice the writing in the selvedge. It stated the fabric was colorfast and it is. The pink is that wonderful bubblegum pink and the green is that great green from the 30's. The chrome yellow is as bright as the day it was purchased.
Dad's signature looked the same in 1932 as it did when he passed away at the age of 88!
My aunt's block, Cecilia Donahoe. Cecilia and Dad were brother and sister but they were not twins. Cecilia never married and lived in Darlington most of her life.
Dwight Mille'sr block. Our family and Dwight's family grew up a few miles from each other and we all attended Pleasant View School together before we attended school in Belmont.
Charles Rowe's block. Charlie owned Rowe's Tavern in Belmont for a number of years. I worked with him one summer when I was in college at Belmont's First Capital State Park.
I hope you enjoyed my little journey with this quilt. Every quilt tells a story!