The Wealth OF These Beauties

Yesterday was a busy day – the most exciting part being that I was able to pick up the framed quilt blocks that I had rescued about a month ago.  I wrote a post ‘A Neighbor Told A Neighbor’ which told of me being gifted a worn and torn quilt that was going to be thrown out. My neighbor Velma and her son Dan believed the quilt had been done by Velma’s mother, Gertrude Ernesteen Todd. I was able to save only 2 panels from the quilt and decided to have them framed.

Here they are ~


I was so excited to finally have them home and for gift giving ~

Over at Velma’s (84) and her son Dan’s home, joined by the ‘neighbor who told the neighbor’ ~ Poodle Nancy (she show’s Poodles and you may have seen her in the ring at sometime if you watch the televised dog show’s)

I revealed the 2 beauties ~

I gave one of them as a gift and asked to keep the other. Can you guess which one Velma choose?

This gorgeous one in the reddish frame


And I got the gorgeous peach tulip in the brown tones


It was so hard to get a picture with out glare and as you can see out doors captured the reflection of winters bare branch trees

Spending some time with Velma and Dan, it became clear they were not sure who actually made the quilt. They always thought it had been her mother Gertrude Ernesteen Todd but it could have been her mother, and they didn’t know who she was. While talking with them I learned they actually had no information on their family history and with a few facts I went home, deciding then and there I needed to learn a little more for them and for myself. Gertrude was born Oct 30 1913 in Tallahassee, Oklahoma. She married Elbert Jackson Poynor of Shawnee, Oklahoma.

When the dust bowl hit in 1930 the family made the move along with so many for California, first settling in Dent Township, San Joaquin, CA. As our conversation had continued it was possible the quilt came from Velma’s grandmother, a woman I discovered was named Melrose (Millie) Robertson, born 1883 in Carroll County, Ark. She married Joseph Edward Todd, born 1883 Leonard, Tulsa, OK.  They too, along with the family (all in OK) made the move to CA. All of the family would eventually move into Stanislaus County and surrounding country side. Melrose passed in 1937, Joseph went on to live another 30 plus years passing in 1963.

Whether it was Melrose’s hands that pieced this quilt or her daughter Gertrude, we will never know. But as I look into the years of wear I can picture it being tucked in doorways or window sill’s to stem the tide of sand blowing through the home. Or maybe they covered themselves in it as they ventured out to secure a cow or shut the barn door that may have blown open.

Velma’s father Elbert Jackson Poynor, Oklahoma born, was the son of Thomas Wilson Poynor of Fly, TN, He married Orlena Minnie Collins born in Arkansas. They married in 1904 in Hagar, Pottawtomie, OK. Perhaps Orlena had made the quilt.

I don’t think it really matters who made the quilt. The quilt itself is the living history of an event in our American history.

Velma’s family was the family of John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes Of Wrath” journeying on to the San Joaquin Valley and then on to Modesto.

If only they could have known that the wealth and warmth (we would feel) would be in the remnants of their hand crafted quilted beauties.


11 thoughts on “The Wealth OF These Beauties

  1. dabbldhotmailcom December 16, 2018 / 6:24 pm

    Sharon, this is beautiful, the blocks your story behind everything! You bring so much joy wherever you go!! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 16, 2018 / 8:14 pm

      Thank you for reading and following me Lorna- your way to sweet with your comment. Hugs


  2. fayga49 December 16, 2018 / 8:12 pm

    Sharon, you are such a loving, generous person. So proud to be your friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 16, 2018 / 8:16 pm

      No, I am proud to call you my friend Marsha- it was a true Mitzvah! and the only thing to do 🙂


  3. kathyreeves December 17, 2018 / 2:05 am

    What a gift for them, not only the quilt block, but the gift of their heritage. Well done Sharon, you are a special lady!

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 17, 2018 / 3:41 am

      Thank you Kathy ~ I truly feel like I was given the gift. Quilts and genealogy, the perfect pairing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 17, 2018 / 1:54 pm

      Thank you for linking me back to your quilt post. So interesting and such history. The quilt is gorgeous and in such great shape too. I simply love the women’s names of that era- Orvada, with Orlena in Velma’s family and don’t forget Alma and Wynotha – my mentor’ from OK….as I wrote to Kathy quilts and genealogy, the perfect pairing!


  4. Deb December 17, 2018 / 11:47 am

    These blocks did up beautifully! Did you write all the history down on paper and tacked to the back. I had a block like this that I got from my father that was his mother’s… the information about the block was tuck into a pocket on the back that was just glued on the back of the frame. Your a dear to look this interesting info up for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nwpaintedlady December 17, 2018 / 1:58 pm

      I did write everything down (more detailed than I had put in the post) yes – a copy is in a envelope taped to the back. I have to laugh. I started labeling everything about 2 years ago, even the silliest things~ labeled and dated!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Deb December 17, 2018 / 2:10 pm

        I don’t think it’s silly! I was so delighted to find that little pocket behind my block with all the info after dad passed away , for it was to late to ask him about it then! It was a wake up call for me to label treasures… something I didn’t do before.

        Liked by 1 person

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