Monday, April 7, 2008
Along the eastern seaboard of the United States textile mills were built in abundance beginning in the early 1800's. Powered by water the spinning machines produced textiles.
They drew workers from surrounding areas and had an immense impact on their lives and communities.
While the mill girls (as they were called) are a fascinating story of lasses as young as ten, working six days a week, twelve to fourteen hour shifts for $2.00 - this is about a by-product of the production.
Many convents were also in these areas, most slightly north in Quebec. Relying on generosity, mill seconds and discontinued fabrics, bolts of milled cotton (usually shirting) arrived at these places the nuns called home.
No piece was wasted as the Sisters' nimble fingers cut, pieced and quilted or tied the fabric into warm, lofty covers.
Though utilitarian in purpose some allowed an individual to demonstrate her love of subtle color and careful patchwork.
Most were made for the less fortunate in the close-knit, surrounding towns and villages. Some did remain to warm the souls of the dedicated women who made them. Sewn together by blessed threads a few still survive for us to enjoy.
Picture: Inside a Convent
Convent Quilt: made of shirting and apron gingham - early 1900's
Posted by Susan McShannon-Monteith at Monday, April 07, 2008