A book I just got through.
The book begins by detailing the journey of women and their families
traveling from different parts of the country to Golden City, Colorado and
how quilts were such an important part of their lives.
Golden was a supply point for the mining towns further West and
was important between 1862 to 1867.
A Minnesota man in search of gold, wrote his wife, “Quilts don’t answer very well on the road.”
The year was 1863. Blankets were preferred over quilts because of their durability but,
it did not dissuade women from taking along their cherished quilts. Some
women would layer their clothes in a ridiculous fashion just so they could make
room on the wagon for their precious quilts.
The quilts served as bedding, shrouds or protective covering.
A woman named Emily Gorton was widowed and left with six children and a
sewing machine. She made quilts and sold them to people traveling West and
she herself went west and lived in a sod house in Wyoming. When Indians
arrived unexpectedly, Emily fed them in hopes she or her family would not
be harmed. The Indians not only did not harm them, but several days afterward,
they left a slain deer on her doorsteps. Later Emily made quilts and old shirts and traded them
to the Indians.
The author then moves into discussing quilting during the 1930’s during the
depression. One group formed , called the Jolly Stitchers.
“We had little money for recreations so we did our best
to make things pleasurable for us and our families.” On club days,
the members brought their families while the women cooked and quilted,
men played cards and children played games. Many women turned to sewing
clubs for support and friendship. They helped one another in whatever ways
Lastly, my favorite part about this book was a quote from Emily Gorton:
“A quilt was sewn together with love. When you passed it on to your neighbor you were
passing on your love. It was a special thing to give to your neighbor, like putting your
arms around someone and giving them a love (hug).”-Emily Gorton 1877
Some hand stitching, I have done from little scraps of fabric…
The women who walked to Golden would take any fabric that was leftover
and make braided rugs. This is one I started.I used cut up garments
that we no longer wear.