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.