Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

18/11/2020

Good Luck Millie ❤

Continuing with the theme of very little being wasted by the poor when it came to their clothing, Himself reminded me that his grandmother had been a Millie ( I only knew her as a very old lady who'd worked since she was about 13) and that she had saved scraps of fabric all her life, turning them in to quilts and rag-rugs.

Hidden deep in our airing cupboard I have three of her quilts. Thin, soft, gentle aged fabrics with many many repairs. Decades of stitches adding patches or reattaching the quilt to it's backing fabric.
The vast majority of the stitching has been done by an old treadle powered sewing machine however it appears that most of the repairs have been done by hand. 
In some places, the piecing has been machined but the seams have then been turned over to tuck in the frayed edges and sewn by hand.


Two of the quilts have been hand stitched to sheets. One of them is made up of a random pattern - pieces of fabric are sewn together with no planning and it appears the only aim was to end up with a finished item large enough to fit a small double bed (which incidentally is over 100 years old and the one we use).
However, the soft pink version, in a log cabin pattern has been made with better quality fabrics, machine stitched and is a vastly superior quilt. The underside is also quilted but in a simple large block pattern.




Why am I mentioning this? Well Grandmother-Millie used to work in a weaving mill making dress material and we think that any snippets of fabric that could be brought home would have gone into making these quilts. Which would explain why there is such a gently random layout. 

Himself also reminded me about our proddy-hook - a hand held hook used to pull long ribbon like strips of waste fabric through hessian in a looping action. These were then 'crocheted', knotted or stitched at the back to prevent from disintegrating, making out of necessity, warm and soft rugs.
I sat here this afternoon with a brew and gave it a try - using snippets of fabric and some hessian - it is not as easy as it sounds. My hat's off to those hard working women that laboured at the mills for 12 hours a day for six days a week and still had the energy to make the home comfortable and warm.

And my Millie ? - well, she is finished now, ready to go down to the post office, I just have to email the organisers to confirm she is on her way and then send photos to their webpage. I shall be sad to see her go however - she have given me such pleasure.
There was one last addition - a genuine reel of linen thread from a mill, now long gone, from our village,  gifted to me by a friend who used to work there years ago. So, it seemed very fitting to send it away with Millie.

Good Luck Millie, we've both been through a journey to get to this point - thank you :)



13 comments:

  1. Amazing to think 'Little Gran' made those quilts all those years ago. She will have done it with as much love as you have put into your Millie. I love all the extras you have done to Millie. You will be sad to see her go. πŸ’“ xx

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    1. Well, she is off now, just wait to see (on line) how she looks in situ :) x

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  2. Good luck Millie & Kate. Those quilts from Grandma are priceless & a wonderful link to your past. I've an interesting book that I'm sure you'd like, but how on earth do I lend it to you from afar. Thanks for taking us along on this journey with you. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

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  3. Bravo!! ....a marvellous project. I think the organisers will de delighted with Millie and give you top marks!! Amanda x

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    1. Thank you Amanda :) looking forward to seeing (on line) when she lands :)

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  4. She's lovely. You did her justice and more. Those old quilts are so interesting. Can't wait to see you blog about Millie in her new home. I think the silk bobbin finishes her off perfectly. Any your next sewing project is ....? x

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    1. Thank you❤ I used the pink today as I was a little chilly in the attic and it was surprisingly warm!
      Lots of projects on my list, more to follow!

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  5. She looks wonderful as do the quilts you have been gifted. They are wonderful, thank you for sharing them with us.

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