Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quilting Bee with Grandma

Grandma Rosina & Grandpa William John Mertz
on their wedding day.
27 March, 1927
 The Quilting Bee

Visiting Grandma’s I always had fun
She had a way of getting things done.

Grandpa tilled field, and dinner in oven
She’d take my hand, oh I was in heaven.

Off to the church we’d walk quite a ways

With room there to gather, and for children to play.

Into the gym it seemed big and empty

But tucked on the stage was color a’plenty.

Amazing to see that old dresses, coats and shirts

could be cut and assembled into masterpiece works.

One at a time the women would come
To work on this quilt till the stitching was done.
Chairs pulled around a large wooden frame
Fabric stretched taught in order to tame

bumps, or small creases, they’d have none of that!
Layer between two named after a bat?

Expertly assembled on this frame that they built

This large fabric sandwich was then set on small stilts.

When I was little I’d play underneath
Lay on my back and listen to them speak

Stories were told about weather and grain
They fretted and worried about little rain

But then Grandma spoke about her faith in God
And I knew rain would come and soak the dry sod

Soon Grandmother had me pull up a chair
Could I be included for I had no gray hair?

I learned to thread needles before I could stitch
This job I was given was my little nitch.

I would walk 'round that big old pine frame
To thread a few needles to each lady I came.

A smile, and a hug often waited for me

Tiny eye holes for some were so hard to see!
A few of Gran’s friends were old and quite frank
Some rocked their babies who started to stink

These women enjoyed their time with those quilts
They laughed, joked, and cried, strong friendships were built

Silver steel glided with up and down motions
Thread, shears, and rulers were some of their notions.

After a few years I was invited to sew
I learned there are many tricks I needed to know

Carefully I watched as my Grandmother taught
To take even stitches, bottom layer must be caught.

It did not matter how quick, or how slow
What mattered the most was to sew a straight row.

I understood there’s a level of trust
To sew on their quilt, quality was a must.

Afternoon over soon we packed up to go
My mind was filled with new things I know.

I looked at my Grandma and smiled ear to ear
Beside this great woman there was nothing to fear.

I knew she loved me it was plain to see
Because she took me with her to her Quilting Bee.

-by- Sandra Dodge



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