My grandmother used to do a lot of quilting. She'd hang the frame from the ceiling and there the work in progress would stay for days until it was done. Sometimes her friends would come over and help her. I guess that was what they called a quilting bee. But mostly she worked on them herself.

I don't know the names of the patterns, but some had squares that looked like sailing ships. Others had squares with flower shapes. The most beautiful one was one with butterflies as squares. You could tell the choice of fabrics in this one was considered very carefully; lots of pinks and dark blues. Very rarely was one done with a non-realistic geometrical design, but sometimes . . .

I still have some of those quilts she made. Some of them have fabric from my old shirts and pajamas and my mom’s dresses in them. I never use those for picnics or the like.

I worked for a while documenting folk culture in the South and saw a great number of examples of quilts made in several areas. I never saw any that were better than the ones my grandmother made.