Frannie's Blog

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Vankleek Hill, Ontario, Canada
I look for beauty and truth in everything. It's not always there of course but I try to find it or make it happen. I love people who make me laugh.

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Mom and the Bedspread

Here is my Mom, Phyllis, at the age of 17 or so. It is during the 30's. Sometime soon she will begin to make a bedspread out of scraps of fabric. This bedspread will have a long life, as will Mom. It will travel to many homes along the way and it will be remade several times. Many hands will work on it besides hers, but it will always be Mom's bedspread.

This is the bedspread today. I just took it out of the trunk. I learned it's called a 'Yo-Yo' coverlet and that this was a popular form of recycling during the 1930's, what with The Great Depression going on. Well, that figures, given my Mom's practical and patient nature. But I never found out why she never finished it herself. For years it sat in her bottom drawer, partly pieced together but never completely joined nor attached to a backing. So unlike her.

But then, many years later, as a 'surprise', my grandmother secreted it away to the neighbour's house to be finally assembled by a group of seasoned quilters. The backing colour was lime green and the edges were done in little points. When Mamoe presented my mother with this labour of love, no doubt expecting a huge outpouring of gratitude, she was met instead with barely concealed dismay. I guess Mom felt this was a tresspass, just as I would feel if someone finished up a painting I'd started. Nevertheless, she put the bedspread on the spool bed in the guest room and said no more about it.

A few years ago I inherited the bedspread and decided to make things a bit better by getting rid of the green backing and replacing it with a black one and no pointy bits at the edges. It was a winter project and when I showed it to Mom she was delighted. I'm glad for that because she passed away several years later.

I tried using it on my bed but the fabric was becoming too old and needed frequent repairs so I put it away.

Here are some closeups. I'd love to know what all these circles used to be before being lovingly cut out and gathered. Dresses, blouses, tablecloths? My Dad says he used to write little notes and hide them inside some of the circles for Mom to discover. He's such a Romantic! I never found any notes when I was working on the piece. I bet they were too mushy and Mom removed them. Too bad.

So what do I do with it now?

Oh Bridget, you're such a poser.

And now Bridget and Amanda (aka 'Sam') are exploring the possibilities of cavorting on it so I'm going to put it back in the trunk before it gets totally shredded. I would hate for all that work to end up destroyed by our adorable but bratty kittens.


Ronna said...

Lovely bedspread and great story Fran! But putting it away with your 2 little monsters around would be best. I had a nice rug that I had to hide from my monsters.

frannie said...

No worries, it's back in the trunk!

Knatolee said...

I love the black background on the yoyo quilt. Beautiful! And you look like your Mom. :)

Evlyn said...

The quilt really is a work of art. But I am most intrigued by the mystery. Why didn't your mother finish it? Maybe you could write a short story based on your mother and the quilt. I think it could be fascinating.

frannie said...

Hi Evlyn, glad to see you figured out how to comment...and I just love getting comments.

I'll never know why Mom never finished it but you're right, it could be an intriguing little story.

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