This gentleman is Mr. Luther Glaze, a peddler who sold fabric to my husband’s grandmother, Zelema, in the 1920’s and 30’s. Once a week, Mr. Glaze arrived in his truck, his wares protected with a canvas cover. “Granny Zee” never paid him with money, but with butter and eggs from her farm.
The quilt here, “Granny Zee’s Scrap Baskets,” is one I made in 2007 using fabrics left from some of Zee’s sewing. Her daughter, Sadie Belle, was my mother-in-law. In her twilight years, Ms. Sadie found a large bag of scraps and offered them to me to “use in a quilt.” I washed, ironed, and sorted some 69 different prints. Many of them were from feedsacks, some were fabrics Ms. Sadie recognized as being a school dress for her or an apron for her mother. The remnants I had were often the negative space that resulted from cutting pieces for clothing; a shirt front, a sleeve, a collar from a child’s dress.
I delighted in the fabrics and thought egg baskets to be an appropriate block. Using a solid white fabric as the background, I pieced the entire quilt using Zee’s scraps. I made a wall hanging and worked quickly to complete the quilt, knowing Ms. Sadie’s memory was fading every day. She treasured it and shared memories from the fabrics every time we looked at it together.
Ms. Sadie had some moments of anxiety and anger with her dementia, but my sewing basket seemed to calm her. As it always calms me.
One might question, as I did, why the family had a framed photo of the peddler. Asked, but not answered.