Family Heirlooms: Quilted Apron

I’m fortunate that many handmade items are still in my family, things created by my mother, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and great aunts. While I can claim no credit for having made them, I think they’re well worth sharing here, because they’re interesting and well-made, and because they have special meaning to me.

Also, since my mother passed away so suddenly, we never had a chance to get the family stories behind many things. So I’d like to share what I do know, and if you happen to have more information, either because you know more about the techniques than I do or because you know the family stories associated with these items, I’d love to have you share your knowledge.

My mother made this apron, I believe as a gift for her Aunt Nora, who was a talented maker herself.


While she machine-stitched the strap and skirt, I believe the quilt block itself is all hand-sewn, and it is certainly hand-quilted in a red chosen to contrast against the green printed fabric.



Mom’s tiny, neat quilting stitches are perhaps best shown by examining the back of the garment, where they contrast with the lining.


The care and attention to detail seen here are typical of my mother’s work. Do you see how well all those corners match up on the quilt block? I always admired, and was a bit jealous of, her ability to do that. I tend to be more impulsive and have things come out a mess.

I’m not sure of the pattern she used for the quilt block, but in Suzy Lawson’s Book, Amish Patchwork: Full-Size Patterns for 46 Authentic Designs, I see one called “Variable Star,” which could have been her inspiration.

I like to imagine my mother working on this, perhaps as a few minutes of calm and order in her day while I watched episodes of my beloved Sesame Street and my brother napped, and I like to imagine my Great-Aunt Nora’s joy in receiving it.


For updates on my more impulsive, less-exacting November Projects, here are the current totals:

NaNoWriMo: 29,425/50,000 words

NaBloPoMo: 14/30 posts.

About rbpepper

Rebecca is an artist, writer, and photographer with degrees in Theater and Social Work, and is currently a Stay at Home Mom to her three kids. Some part of her house is always a mess, she lets her kids paint on the table and design their own costumes, and she makes excellent allergen-free cookies. She lives with her equally creative husband and children in a part of Virginia known for being "pretty close to Dulles Airport", and dreams of moving to an old farmhouse in New England.
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