I had been itching to use the feed sack material given to me several years ago by the late Wilda Prater of Fillmore. With the coronavirus self-quarantine, I looked for a project to complete. This was the start of my coronavirus quilt.
Wilda would call me from time to time to tell me she had a picture or newspaper article for me, and I would make a run to her hilltop home.
Wilda and I shared several interests including stamp collecting and history. We were also both breast cancer survivors.
Several years ago, I was working on a child’s quilt for a Christmas present and needed additional material to add to the quilt top, which was in bright shades of pink, orange, purple, green and yellow.
Invited to her house to look through her material scraps, I found several pieces that would suit my project perfectly, and Wilda told me that I needed to come back another day when I had more time to look at her old flour sack material scraps.
Several weeks later, I did return, and returned home with a bag of scraps, some as small as 3 inches. I admitted to Wilda that I did not fully understand how the flour sack buying worked.
With a chuckle, she said they would go to the store and first choose the material they liked.
The merchant would then fill it with flour.
In some instances, the sacks would be pre-filled with a removable label.
Although I have six quilts under my belt, I do not consider myself a quilter because my stitches are not “quilter” stitches, which are small and so many per inch.
When it came to a pattern for the quilt, the “St. Louis pattern” found me as I leafed through a quilt pattern book.
It looked easy enough, and the pieces were small enough so that Wilda’s flour sack scraps would fit perfectly.
It has been six weeks since I cut my template, and to my surprise, the quilt top has been finished.
To get the size I wanted for a double bed required 72 squares. In my flurry of quilt block making, I was well on my way to 100 when I took a minute to lay the blocks out to check the size.
While looking in my fabric tote, I found enough orange and gold material left over from another project to complete the quilt back, and to further convince myself that I was supposed to make this quilt, had just enough quilt batting.
My COVID quilt is a joining of two dramatic events in America’s history – the Great Depression, witnessed by Wilda Prater and represented by the feed sack material scraps, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our experiences during this time can and will serve as a teaching tool for the next generation.