This is perhaps my favorite of my maternal great-grandmother’s quilts, made in a variation of the Dresden Plate pattern and with a binding not often seen, an ice cream cone shape that wraps around from front to back.
My great-grandmother didn’t have the easiest life, the second wife of a cattleman in the days before barbed wire fencing restricted grazing. He already had several children before his first wife died, then he and my great-grandmother had three more, the youngest of which was my grandfather.
My great-grandfather roamed West Texas with his cattle herd, his older sons helping with the drive. She would move with him until they found good grazing, then they’d set up a tent and she would stay there on her own with three small ones and he’d graze the cattle around her in a circle until they were three or so days’ ride away. Then he’d come back and she’d move again. She kept her little ones riding on the back of a jenny mule to keep them out of rattlesnake strike range while she did some of her chores. And she recalled that once a bull got loose and knocked down her cookstove, worrying her greatly that the stove was broken.
She didn’t own a home until my grandfather was older, and even then the front door didn’t arrive before a snowstorm hit, and they had to hang blankets to keep out some of the cold.
And through all this, like many women of her time, she managed to piece beautiful quilts like this one, which won the antique quilt category the year I entered it. (And we think we have life hard!!!)