also be semi-related to a special Nebraska quilter named Mary Ghormley. She and Roger were good friends with my parents; and in 1967 my brother married their daughter. I guess that makes us ‘shirttail’ relatives. As I grew up, we would spend time at the Ghormley home. I was amazed and impressed with all the quilts, especially her doll beds and doll quilts.
When I heard the 2012 quilt study theme would be about Colonial Revival quilts, I immediately went to a book about Mary Ghormley’s quilts titled Childhood Treasures, by Merikay Waldvogel (2008). I found a wonderful “Trip Around the World” quilt. When I emailed Mary to ask permission she reminded me that all those quilts were no longer hers; they belonged to the IQSC&M and she suggested that I write them. Janet Price from IQSC was able to give permission. In the meantime I began collecting reproductions from the 1930s that resembled the fabrics in the book.
It is such a connection to the past to make a quilt and wonder why the quilter chose those particular fabrics. Were they leftovers from a large quilt that she made? Were they special fabrics left from making something for her daughter? Was the quilt used to cover a little doll or a teddy bear? Unfortunately we’ll never know the true story behind this original, but I was certainly happy to think about it while I pieced my little doll quilt.
The original quilt had no batting or quilting – maybe because the maker just wanted it to drape and wrap nicely around a little girl’s doll. When I made my reproduction put in a few rows of quilting just to hold the front and back together. Otherwise I tried to make mine look just as much like hers as possible, although she hand pieced and I used my rotary cutter to cut the squares and then my Bernina to sew them together. I copied her style of binding by bringing the back to the front and machine stitched it in place as she did.
What a joy this little journey has been. I can only hope that one day someone in a future generation finds one of my little original doll quilts and wants to reproduce it too. If so, they will find my name and date on the back!