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Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20...5 days till Christmas

My paternal grandmother was very talented at sewing, embroidering and crocheting.  She made beautiful quilts, doilies and tablecloths, and every Christmas, her crocheted snowflakes covered her tree and ours. She made them in several shapes out of very fine cotton thread with a small hook, all very delicate and lovely.

Over the years, she must have made hundreds of them, each one lovingly crafted then dipped in heavy starch and ironed till they were stiff and crisp. Every year, they were bleached, washed and rinsed in bluing* to make them bright white and then re-starched so they'd be perfect for the holidays.

Naturally, since I've admitted that I'm not sentimental about Christmas decorating, I probably sold them in a garage sale, because I haven't seen them in years. There's a definite downside to being a Scrooge.

*For those of you too young to remember bluing, it was a laundry product that was added to the rinse water to give white fabric a slighly bluish cast so it would appear very bright white, rather than grayish or yellowish.

FIVE crocheted snowflakes

Number 5 on my Christmas Wish List is to come up with a way to preserve some of my paternal grandmother's handmade items that I do still have. One of my most prized possessions is a quilt that she and my mother made (and won 1st place with at the Texas State Fair). The state flower design is a combination of appliqué and embroidery...and the quilt is so old that there were only 48 states when they made it.

#5 on my Christmas Wish List
To find an affordable way to preserve this quilt.

Close-up of quilt made by my paternal grandmother and my mother


  1. That quilt is amazing! Do you just want to preserve it or display it as well?

  2. For now, I just want to store it in a way that will keep it from deteriorating. Fortunately, the fabric is strong and without even any worn places. I think my best route is to store it flat in an acid-free box and acid-free tissue paper, folding it as few times as possible, and get it out once a year for refolding. Any ideas on a better way?

  3. I think acid free is the way to go, and the refolding plan sounds good too. Good luck!