Monday, February 16, 2015

Homemade Quilts Still Popular In 1907

Home=Made Quilts Of U.S. Represent $675,000,000 Labor
Girls of Today Eschew "Quilting Bee" ===Old=Fashioned Patterns Are Still in Vogue.

      John D. Rockefeller's wealth couldn't buy all the home-made quilts of the United States. Statistical Sam, having craved the indulgence of the kitchen cabinet, continued:
      There are at least two home-made quilts to each of the 15,000,000 families of this country; one that 'her mother's made, and one that 'his mother' made.
      Home-made quilts are made in spare time. Quilt-making women have little spare time; for, they are able to sit down to piece and patch and sew at those rare intervals when all the rest of the household duties have been attended to.
      It takes a year's spare time to make a home-made quilt. Leaving out Sundays and holidays, three-hundred is the number of possible quilting days. Allowing one half hour each day for quilt-making, one hundred and fifty hours are devoted to the completion of one quilt.
      The average price of female labor in the Orient is 10 cents a day. The Mexican woman of the peon class receives 20 cents.  A capable hired girl in the United States get 50 cents a day; while a qualified seamstress demands and receives pay at the rate of $1.00 a day. Then, why shouldn't the domestic American mother's spare time spent in quilt-making be worth a little more? It is! for the reason that spare time is precious time-- overtime! And the same should be rated as time-and-a-half, according to the pay of the seamstress.
One of the most popular of grandmother's patterns
for her home-made quilt was, and is still, known as
 the 'big star.'
      Say, then, she spends one-half-hour a day sewing home-made quilts, and that it takes one year to make one quilt-the problem becomes interesting.
      The 30,000,000 home-made quilts that 'his mother' and 'her mother' made, according to my figures, represent $675,000,000 worth of overtime.
      It is a generally conceded fact, that a rich man's fortune dwindles one-third under the hammer. Subjected to a compulsory turning into cash, John D. Rockefeller's billion dollars would assume the propertions of $666,666,666.66 2-8, which wouldn't be sufficient to pay for the labor expended on the home-made quilts of the United States, even at a rummage sale. Because, every man-jack of a true American would be there with the individual over-bidding, redeeming price to save his home-made quilt. 
      One of the most popular of grandmother's patterns for her home-made quilt was, and is still, known as the 'big star.' Another old-time favorite which has stood the test of time is the 'box' quilt, so designed that any way you look at it you see cubes. Four hundred and eighty-six diamond shaped pieces are required to make the regulation star for the 'big star' quilt. The 'box' quilt, also fashioned of diamonds, may contain as many pieces as suits the fancy of its maker. The 'crazy' quilt has no definite pattern. It is a hettermess sort of an effort; though, withal, it is often as highly prized as its high-tomed cousin, 'log cabin.'
      More love, life and labor is wrapped up in the home-made quilt then may at first be imagined. Years of saving neckties, hat crowns, ribbons and bits of silk are required to provide the bare material for its pattern. And the mother, or wife, who makes it can in nine cases out of ten call each particular piece and tell you what it used to be and whence it came.
      The girls of today are not so greatly given to quilting as were our mothers and their mothers. The demands of present day society and the allurements of contingent amusement forbid. When we were children, however, the 'quilting-bee' was one of the chiefest mild amusements to which the women folk flocked.
      The intrinsic value of the homemade quilt may not be fully set down in dollars and cents. There is sentiment connected with it that money couldn't buy. Here's to the homemade quilt! Pensacola Journal, 1907

"When I was a lad in the country, Jack,
I started out horses to trade.
I married a girl, Jack. Bedding she brought;
And a quilt that her grandmother made.
What would I give for he old times back!
With horses in plenty to trade;
to sleep neath the quilt the girlie-girl brought;
Neath the quilt that her grandmother made!
Don't ask me!!"

Sam's Problem.
300 working days one year.
1/2 hour's sewing each day.
15 cents per hour, overtime wages.
Mother's labor on quilt, $22.50 (in 1907)

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