Tuesday, April 10, 2007

This is Hannah Porritt, my maternal great grandmother.
She was born in 1879 and was a seamstress and a skilled needlewoman. She lost the sight in one eye when a machine needle broke and flew up into her face, but she still did beautiful work despite that limitation.
She was also a fabric hoarder and Mum saved this piece of her stash, which must date from the 1930's, paper bag and all. I claimed it in the 80's, intending to make a shirt with it, but I'm glad I didn't. It would have been worn out and discarded years ago, and I wouldn't have such a tactile link to tie me with this woman I'm sure I would have liked.
I think it's an early rayon type fabric, but if it was cotton it would surely go in a quilt dedicated to her memory.


6 comments:

meggie April 10, 2007  

I love that photo! How lovely to have the piece of fabric also. You have just reminded me I have a piece of cotton from my Grandmother. I must look it out.

atet April 11, 2007  

Why not still put it into a quilt? I know it isn't 100% cotton -- but a memorial quilt/wallhanging could still use some of the fabric and its content would not be as much of an issue. The point here are the memories rather than fibre content. Think of all of the memorial quilts made out of pieces of someone's clothing that have been made and are truly mixed fibre works!

gwen April 11, 2007  

The fabric has a strong design of its own and maybe you could just frame it with a large white passepartout and then a black frame. Well just an idea! I love how your pink repro quilt turned out!

Jane Weston April 11, 2007  

What a great link to your family's past. I have a couple of needlework pieces by my great-grandmother and my great-great-grandmother that I treasure as they link me to my family's past. There is nothing that compares.

Karen April 15, 2007  

It's wonderful to have that bit of family history; it's shocking to think how little we have sometimes and how easily what we do have can slip away. Love the photo very much.

Hedgehog May 01, 2007  

What a treasure. Thanks for sharing!

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