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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Piece of American History

We've been busy these past few days. My 29th birthday was a little more than week ago. While I don't really care too much about approaching 30, I do care that my gifts from family and friends are becoming more refined.

My mother's mother gave me something that I've been thinking about for a long time: an unfinished quilt from a covered wagon trip into Ohio. My grandmother also included a handwritten note explaining the history to the best of her knowledge. She was into the whole genealogy thing
Danielle -
My birthday gift to you has a history of our family en route to the early settlement of Ohio. Unfortunately, I cannot locate it at this time. It was written and sent from my grandmother, Lily Swem Lushbaugh.
     Her mother was Hannah Maudlin, born 1848. As I recall, the family left the Carolinas by wagon train to Ohio in its early days. In Ohio, and elderly Maudlin man died and was buried on the side of the road. During this time, a "young" girl kept busy by starting to sew a quilt, which was never completed.
     My grandmother Lily became its owner and she passed it to me, still unfinished.
There a bunch of personal information following that, which I'm opting not to post here, but there's a small note attached to my grandmother's note which reads "My grandmother Bridgette M. Lushbaugh (1830-1883) made this quilt top. Aunt Laura used it without finishing it. - GL" My grandmother indicates that this note was written by my grandmother's father's sister, Grace Lushbaugh.

This little piece of American history has been on my mind for years. My grandmother showed me this quilt when I was a little girl, and I remembered it. I was hopeful that at some point, she'd decide to pass it down to either my sister or myself.

You can see the stitch work, so small and tidy in each little square. The quilt itself is pretty large, but clearly pretty old. The fabric intrigues me, and I really enjoy just looking at it and thinking about Laura sewing this in her down time by a fire.

7 comments:

Unapologetically Mundane said...

What a neat gift. I love quilts, and although I only have one that was purchased for me, it stills pains me every time I wash it, knowing it's going to get weaker. I'm so glad your grandmother held onto yours for you.

Kate! said...

Happy Birthday and HOLY CRAP what an amazing present! Those are the type of gifts that really mean something, don't you think? My Nanie gave me my great grandmothers darning egg, and it's now one of my most cherished possessions!

Gwen said...

Happy belated birthday. What a special, precious, priceless gift to receive.

Tasha said...

Are you going to keep working on it, or find a way to display it, or . . . ? Seems to awesome to just store away somewhere.

Sassafrass said...

Hi Gwen :D

Tasha, I don't have the heart to finish it. I don't want to sully it, but you're right, it seems too awesome to stash away. Maybe I could display it somehow without risking it becoming damaged by life...

Made by Hand on Planet Earth said...

That is so awesome! It's so special to have a piece of your OWN American History. Can't you just feel the energies of the women in your family every time you hold it and touch it? Thanks for sharing.

Made by Hand on Planet Earth said...
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