Saturday, June 11, 2011

Heirloom Quiliting: A Tribute to 'Betsy'

Both of my grandmothers quilted, and lately I've been considering it.  They also tatted, crocheted, knitted, embroidered, and sewed, not to mention gardening and canning too!

My dad's mother had 6 children, 10 grandchildren, 
15 great-grand, and 4 great-great-grand.

My mom's mother grew up with 12 other siblings; here are just the sisters, with my granny 2nd from right on the back row (fyi, the youngest girl lived to be 104!)

Granny married late in life and had one child (my mother), and 3 grandchildren (us)

Ella Mae Myers Eller 

was known as Betsy by most.  She did all of her sewing either by hand or on this manual machine.  As a little girl, I used to spend hours under there rocking the pedal and spinning the wheel... probably broke a few needles too!

My blog name indicates that I will talk about and show my glass work, and I will, but I want to share with you the beauty of grandmother's handiwork, coupled with her devotion to her family.

First is a vest and long skirt she made for me during my early high school years, using scraps from our outgrown homemade dresses and shirts, and a few of her old ones, too.  My guess on the pattern term is HST (how'm I doing Freda?)

 The vest needs relining.

How about these bell-bottomy slacks that I can still get in?  But the shorts... that's another story!

My shorts, front and back and they are really small.  

Maybe I should make wearing these a goal???

Nah...why set myself up for frustration and disappointment, lol!

My housecoat front and back.  I love this pattern, like open books...and remember, she cut each piece with old-timey scissors - no rotary or GO! cutters!!! (gotta use my new 
vocab ;-)

The pink lining needs replacing.
My younger son wore this for a costume in 1989, as Joseph's coat, shown here with his older brother.

And finally, the mac-daddy (or mac-granny) of them all:
My quilt she made using even more of the outgrown dresses.
The binding is loose, so I've purchased some new in the same color and fabric, thanks to advice from a mega-quilting friend.  Now to raise the courage to replace it!

The quilt back is a beautiful shocking pink and orange fuzzy flannel!
Check back tomorrow for more of Betsy's quilt art!


  1. Miss Eller! What a sweetie! Gotta love that Lydia Pinkums! haha!

    And look at you workin' them pants gura!!!

  2. Wow... what treasures you have!

    ...and you're correct about the HSTs!!!

  3. What a nice post about your Grandmother and a wee glimpse of you! She fixed you some clothes wow! Isnt that a cozy quilt! My Grandma Jean used to tatt gads she made this bedspread and my Mother has it, it is so very heavy! It hasnt been washed in eons. Just the weight of it in a tub would be something else..maybe have it dry cleaned one day. I think people years ago really had full lives. Canning and crochet, gardens etc etc. And the food was tastier too. Someone told me recently they remembered chicken having tasted better, and I think thats true too. I remember w/out PCs we got so much done! Oh Ive written a journal here. Cheers~Janet

  4. Enjoyed this! You KNOW the main ingredient in those handmade items: LOVE! My grandma (who passed away in November) made so many things for me...they are all over my house. She started making things for me when I was young and continued most of my life. Main ingredient: LOVE.

  5. I remember seeing those pieces so often thru the years- I have some stored in my hope chest. I had the shorts, best and pants too. great history Cis-!!!