Friday, December 26, 2014

The Quilt Sarah Made for Young Elizabeth

Sarah worked as a housekeeper for acquaintances of my grandparents in Verona, New Jersey. Some time in the 1930s, she made a quilt for young Elizabeth Draycott Ost, my mother. The quilt is a blue and white Indiana Puzzle, and I have always admired it. According to Mom, Sarah lived  on Park Avenue in Verona, New Jersey in the late 30's and 40's, with Mrs Worthum's daughter and her family. Their name was Ryan. Mom could not recall Mr Ryan's name, and wasn't sure if she ever knew it, but his wife was Grace and their daughter Patricia.

Sarah was illiterate but loved to sew. She spent her free time sewing. She made the quilt especially for Mom in her favorite color, blue. Many years later, the quilt would hang in the summer home on Rangeley Lake in Maine each year, and it was the only quilt Mom held on to after selling the house and giving me all the other quilts. I didn't blame her for that. It's special.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover the quilt in one of my Christmas packages yesterday, and had to ask Mom if she was sure she wanted me to have it. She was, and I thanked her. Sarah was African-American and absolutely loved making quilts. Mom has such fond memories of this lovely woman who made the quilt. It would probably be a miracle if there was a way to discover more information about Sarah, but miracles do happen! Thank you Mom, and Sarah, for the gorgeous quilt.


  1. Love that swirly center!
    If anyone can find Sarah, it is you.

  2. Love the calm and contemplative blues, and the touching history of this quilt.

  3. Unexpected family treasures that we have admired for years are the most precious and wonderful gifts. Lucky you! It is an unusual and lovely quilt and the story of where it came from makes it more so. Best of luck in your search for Sarah.

  4. What a wonderful, special gift! It is a gorgeous quilt. Wherever Sarah is, I am sure she would be touched to know how much her work has been loved and continues to be treasured over the years.

  5. This block is also known as snail's trail. Outside of Indiana, that may the more well-know name for the pattern;-) You summered at the lake in Rangeley Maine? My dear friend Dick Dill did the same in his family's summer home there. I visited that home once and was fascinated. Dick is a little older than you, b. c. 1941. Dill's?