Joyce's Quilt

Our household recently acquired a new quilt.  Actually, it is a rather old quilt and I am totally smitten with it. 
Joyce is an elderly woman whom Matt has helped since he was about 13 or so.  Whatever Joyce needs Matt is her hired hand.  He shovels her snow when she travels south for the winer, turns on and off her attic fan according to season, trims trees, cleans out storage rooms, etc.   Joyce's son doesn't live in Billings and her husband has passed on so Matt does all these things that she cannot herself manage.  I find it very heart-warmingly sweet, though Matt tries to downplay it.   I am sure Joyce would be able to find someone else if Matt couldn't help her anymore, but I am also sure that it must be a real comfort for her to know that he is around when she needs a little help.

The last time she called up it was to have Matt clear out some things from her basement so that she could get to some keepsakes trunks.  He said it was basically a matter of holding up a handful of random things from boxes and Joyce telling him to get rid of it all.  She told Matt to take whatever he wanted and he did come home with a few things.

Joyce's quilt is about the only thing I can remember now though because it was just so incredible that it blew me away.  Joyce asked if Matt could use a quilt and when he said he could she told him to take it and to think of her when we used it.  The quilt was made by her mother when Joyce was a little girl making it around 80-some years old.  Every single stitch was done by hand. 
I was giddy when I was looking at it and noticed the stitching.  Matt hadn't finished telling me where it had come from before I exclaimed, "This binding is hand stitched!! This whole thing is hand stitched!!!"  Matt just smiled and said, "Well if you let me finish telling you about it you'll understand why!"
It is a treasure to me almost as if it had come from my own family.   
(Update:  Joyce passed away in November 2013)


  1. Oh, the quilt truly is just beautiful! Can't get over how many small hand-stitched squares it looks like it has. Wow. And the story behind it makes it that much sweeter.

  2. It was such an incredible gift! I hope that it makes Joyce happy to know that another generation will be loving and using it as she did for a lifetime.

    I've been telling everybody about it! But, sadly, not too many seemed to understand and appreciate the awesomeness. I knew my blog-pals would though! So, thanks!

  3. The kind of quilt you have, handsewn and so random in the placement, and with not so square pieces appeals to me much more than the patterns people make. That is a real treasure. Please don't sit on it or ever wash it.

  4. What a gift to cherish. Such a lovely story and a lovely quilt.

  5. Parsimony - Washing came up right away! It was a bit musty from being in the basement for so long at Joyce's. Washing seemed out of the question, but I wasn't sure. Consulting both mothers (Matt's and Mine) I ended up just putting it on the clothes line for a couple days (bringing it in at night). I also gave it one light misting of fabreze (found under my bathroom sink...who knew?!) and it smells clean as a whistle now.

    I absolutely love it.

  6. Wow, it's so cute! And THAT is a lot of hand-stitched love!

  7. But, I meant to add that if anyone deserved it that person would be Matt for being such a good guy to Joyce and others for so long. Love ya bro!

  8. Oh, how we miss you Adam....Matt was just talking about you yesterday! I'll be sure to pass along your comment. Love you and hope you are doing well way down yonder Califonee-way.

  9. THAT IS SO CUTE!! Both the quilt and Joyce (and Matty. what a good guy!!) - I can't imagine how long that must have taken to make. At one time I had a handmade/stitched quilt from my great great grandma (strips rather than squares). And my dad and I (being left on our own to do laundry when one of us was about 13 and knew NOTHING about not washing hundred + year old quilts) washed it. UGH. The poor thing is pretty hailed now and was nearly pristine before. So sad. and the back looks like it got beet juice dumped all over it (some of the strips were burgundy velvet). So sad. This one is so so so cute! I love it!!

  10. That is such a tragic story. Thank goodness I thought to consult the mothers!


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