Boy howdy, are you in for a treat today!!!!! (I wish my exclamation points in this font looked more like real ones than l's.)
Saturday is going to be a special day to share my Aunt Marie's quilts with you. You are one lucky person! Aunt Marie is my Quilting Muse.
This is a picture of my Aunt Marie when she was in her 30s.
Leona Marie Noah was born in Gallatin, Missouri on July 25, 1905.
Her father, Lee Noah, and mother, Ella Donaldson were married on December 4, 1898. Marie had a younger brother born in 1914. She attended Madison School. What was life like in 1905? Laundry was washed in a tub. Water was drawn from a well with a pump. Papa Lee Noah had cows, pigs, geese, sheep, and chickens. Butter was churned by hand. Light was provided by kerosene lamp, food was cooked on a wood stove. Land was plowed by a horse-drawn tiller. In the fall, pumpkins, radishes, and other vegetables were harvested. Fruit, like watermelons, pears, apples, cherries and strawberries, were part of the garden. Both fruit and vegetables were preserved in canning jars. Young boys still went fishing in rivers. In the winter there was snow for snowmen and sleds. In the summer, besides all the work, there was square dancing, Express Wagons for kids, and kites to fly. The state bird of Gallatin? The bluebird. The state tree? Flowering Dogwood.
Now you might wonder if I also lived in Gallatin? Did I read a book about Gallatin or Google Missouri in the early 1900's. My aunt talked a lot, but she never talked about her early life.
The answer to my knowledge of things Galatin-ish and Missouri is a quilt my Aunt Marie made when she was 81.
I'm starting with the quilt that is the hallmark of her quilts: Gallatin, My Hometown. I named it. Aunt Marie never named or dated her quilts. NEVER make that mistake! Here I was in 2004 trying to figure out when and why she made her quilts. It's a shame that I only came up with questions after she died. NEVER make that mistake!
On this fantastic quilt Marie embroidered her name and the year she made the quilt. I would never have guessed she made it when she was 81.
If you look closely you can see sampler quilt blocks. There are 30 of them. I have used these blocks as guidelines on how to quilt blocks on my quilts.
Isn't that amazing? I had the quilt appraised a few years ago. When I laid it out, Jeananne Wright, the appraiser, was speechless. I started crying. I said to myself, "See, Aunt Marie, your quilts are treasures. You did truly amazing work."
The quilt has images of her early life. All the appliques were her own designs. She used feedsacks and diverse cotton prints.
This is a close-up of a portion of the quilt.
Aunt Marie began quilting when she was eight. In the early 1900's quilting was done by hand, templates made on cardboard or linoleum, blocks cut by hand, stitched together by hand and hand-quilted. If you can believe it, Marie made three or more quilts a year. Granted she didn't have children and didn't work outside the house. I have 9 weeks in the summer where I can quilt to my hearts content and I can't produce even one quilt during that time.
The appraiser wrote, the quilt is "very detailed--Outstanding art work and design."
Marie's mother died when she was nine, after the birth of her brother. Marie became the "woman of the house." She raised her brother, kept the house, cooked and continued quilting. Her family information is written on the block shown in this close-up.
My Aunt Marie predeceased my Uncle by five years. Upon his death, all twelve of her quilts were bequeathed to me.
I grew up getting a quilt from Aunt Marie on Christmases, when I was sixteen, when I was wed, and various other times. I am truly blessed for the legacy she gave me.