Saturday, September 10, 2011

About That Basket . . .

So this is what I use my grandmother's basket for -- to hold the elements of a little talk I used to do in the lower grades of our local schools, back when I was starting to be known as 'The Quilt Lady."
I'd bring in a bunch of quilts and talk about them and ask the kids about quilts they might have at home.  I'd hand out these pictures of quilt blocks for the kids to identify and color. And I'd tell them a story about Rachel, a little girl who lived in our county about a hundred years ago -- a little girl who wanted to make a quilt for her doll, Grace Greenwood.
I'd show them how Rachel traced around templates and cut out her quilt pieces and sewed them together by hand.
And I'd show them Rachel's doll and the  quilt Rachel made with scraps from her mother and sister's sewing (left unfinished on one edge to show its construction.) By the way, those are my grandmother's sewing scissors in the picture.
But what was the original use of the basket? I hear someone asking.

Well, I believe it was used to hold feathers -- feathers plucked from butchered chicken/ducks/geese and used to fill pillows and bed ticks. 

Here's a LINK to a Shaker feather basket that looks very similar.(Scroll down to number 219.)
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14 comments:

Ms. A said...

I would have never dreamed there was a special basket to hold feathers. Sure would take many baskets full for a mattress.

Vicki said...

I'm glad to know some information about the basket--I was curious about it! The school talk sounds lovely. I know the kids must have enjoyed it.

Louise said...

A feather basket! That's cool. And, it would explain why the lid fastens so tightly.

Great idea for a talk to the school children. It brings them right in to there own history.

Brian Miller said...

so cool on the talk you would give...and holds feathers...hmm...intriguing....

Carol@The Writers Porch said...

How unique a feather basket!

Vicki Lane said...

I've also seen on line, tall urn-like baskets for storing feathers. This would be, I imagine, used for plucking just a few birds.

Wayfarin' Stranger said...

Vicki, I believe your grandmother used barber shears for sewing scissors. My parents had a pair, and they can still be seen in barber shops. Thanks for the link to the auction site; I covet that stove with the superheater! Jim

Thérèse said...

No better use for it!

jennyfreckles said...

Well now, that is interesting. I never would have guessed feathers. It makes a neat holder for your quilty things. I'd like to hear that talk.

Star said...

What a lovely post - right up my street! Love the basket and the doll and the quilts and the story that went with it. I bet the children loved it too!

Merisi said...

I have watched eider down feathers being plucked, but don't remember where they put the feathers. I don't remember a basket like yours. It is beautiful! The children you talked to were lucky indeed!

Sally said...

Wonder who made the basket...that is an art in itself.

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

i only knew the basket that my grandmother would hand us over in the mornings to collect quail, ducks and chicken eggs.

love the story of that basket!

JJRod'z

Marilyn said...

How wonderful to have your grandmother's basket and to know it's history; it;s also wonderful that you shared your love of quilts and history with the children. Very special indeed.