Monday, May 17, 2010

Garment Factory Revisited

In a couple posts back I talked about the Garment Factory where my Grandmother would go and buy fabric scraps by the pound. Well here we go a bunch of pictures of the results of her efforts. Talk about recycling. This was a soap box of rose scented soaps. She used it to put her pattern pieces for the quilt she was making and her small cut up pieces for hand sewing.
This tub of sewing stuff unfolded a long time affair my Grandmother had with hand sewing and quilting. She always had a machine, but would sit with my Grandfather at night and listen to the radio. She had three boys all off to WWII at the same time. I can't imagine the stress she was under while that was going on. Had to wait for letters to come to hear of their where abouts and also if they were alright. My Grandmother Fern Algiva Hiller-Nelson was born Dec 26, 1901. She lived in a time when WWI was raging and then onto WWII when her boys were off to war. She lived through the depression and hard times. Her Father owned most of the small town she was raised in and she worked hard in a restaurant cooking and waiting tables along with two other sisters. She learned to sew and make many beautiful dresses for herself and her sisters. She made all their wedding garments and made shirts for all her kids growing up. She made all my dresses when I was little because I was the first Grandchild and she had a girl to sew for.

This is a double wedding ring she was making for one of the DIL's for a Christmas present. My Grandmother fell ill with what we thought was the flu. Turned out her kidneys were cancerous and it spread to her lungs. She never smoked a day in her life, but died of Lung Cancer at the age of 60.

This Dresden plate pattern is all kinds of scraps from the 30's -the 50's. All sewn by hand.

This is a star pattern with the fabrics of the garment factory. There were solids and prints in the boxes of scraps she bought by the pound. She added the white and made these blocks. Looks like enough for a twin size quilt are finished.

Look at the array of fabrics from that time.
This obviously was a purchased fabric quilt It was what they called broadcloth. It was on the bolt and only 36inches wide. It is an over sized twin quilt size. My brother was the only Nelson born grandson and I am sure it would have been made for him. Needs a back and batting. The blocks were sewn together by hand and the border was sewn on by machine.

This tub of quilt stuff hasn't seen the light of day for a long time. I get it out and look every once in a while. My grandmother has been gone for 49 years. Just think of what she could have done if she had lived longer. I am almost the age she was when she passed away. I had better get to sewing. I am behind her. Chris



It's never too late to start. How lucky you are to have all of these treasures

Exuberant Color said...

It is fun to look at the older fabrics. I worked at a dress factory in 1959 but by that time we were starting to deal with fabric blends, cotton + something. It wasn't polyester in the beginning. We did have some 100% cottons too.