Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Family Favorite Footstool Tutorial

So, last week my mom visited and together we worked on a project: recreating a footstool made from reclaimed materials. This is a new one we made for my son's family.

My grandmother (and her sisters) made these stools in 1950s from 48oz juice cans, old socks, cardboard and old fabrics (sweatshirts, worn-out quilts, upholstery scraps and heavy cord).

 We deconstructed a worn one, used the pieces for patterns and recovered it, then made two more.
 (and YES, I totally saved the two pieces of worn-out hand-quilted quilt pieces that were inside!!!)
I'm not sure what this will be used for, but it's a precious scrap of the past. How old and ragged must the quilt have been for Grandma Krumm to cut it up for padding inside a footstool? How many people slept under it's warmth before that? Who hand-stitched the pieces together? (It was quilted by machine - with simple parallel rows - nothing fancy, but very even, tiny stitches.) Just how old is it?

According to the Singer website, the sewing machine was invented in 1851 and serial numbers started being issued in 1871. Grandma was married in the 19-teens so by 1955, quilts she made early in her marriage could easily have been worn out. And I know she went to some type of sewing school for a while, so she may have gotten her sewing machine in the early 1900s. (That's another topic - I have a notebook she used, with drawings of pattern pieces, instructions, and class notes.)

I hope to put together a tutorial for making this little beauties....which I'll post here. Leave a comment if you are interested.

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