• 50°

Clyde, Time Was: Every quilt told a story

Time was, we were covered up with quilts.

Quilte — from the French cuilte from the Latin culcita for mattress.

We slept under “the kivers,” handmade with care and hard work, the culmination of planting and hoeing cotton, picking, carding, spinning, weaving just for the yarn goods for the quilt tops. Needlework was an art, practiced by every school girl, mother and homemaker.

When is the last time you threaded a needle to do a little “hand work” or sew on a button? Could you even find a needle in a haystack? Who has the eyes to thread it?

Aunt Jane of Kentucky noted, “There is a heap of comfort in making quilts, just to sit and sort over pieces and call to mind that this piece or that is of the dress of a loved friend now departed.”

Cotton was the fabric of our lives. With cotton factories everywhere you turned, the gin was invented in 1796 to take the seeds out faster. That staple fabric was replaced with corduroy, origin unknown, and denim, de Nimes, France in 1695.

How many pairs of jeans for each person in the good ol’ U.S. of A?

Rowan County’s textile belt was the ninth biggest producer in the state, with the Salisbury Cotton Mills, Vance Cotton Mill and Kessler Cotton Mill.

Irving Kristol in 1952 was the first to call people “out of their cotton picking minds.” Yankees still are.

Here’s a simple ABCs of sewing for a sample of your own handiwork for piecework, sampler or stitches in time.

A: Applique: Fabric sewn to fabric.

B: Batting for bolster pillows with goose feathers.

C: Coverlets or tufted counterpanes.

D: Darning eggs are extinct.

E: Edging lace. Often crocheted or tatting.

F: Featherstitching or briar stitching on crazy quilts — also French knots.

G: Gloves. Hand knit to fit.

H: Hemstitch on napkins or hankies.

I: Inserts of lace or pleated.

J: Jacquard looms for bedspreads.

K: Knitting machines for socks.

L: Looms for rag rugs by Fred Parnell of Tyro.

M: Monograms on your underwear.

N: Niddy noddy for coating skeins.

O: Overstitching or over-edging held the binding tight.

P: Pique or waffle weave.

Q: Quilling in paper or ribbons.

R: Remnants to save for scraps that people throw out.

S: Spools, wooden.

T: Thimbles could be sterling.

U: Unbleached muslin used for lining.

V: Velvets for crazy quilts in 1890.

W: Wheel for spinning sits in a corner.

X: Xmas, handmade stockings and gifts.

Y: Yarn, knitting or to tie up.

Z: Zippers for tight fit.

Patterns imitated life — such as anvil, sawtooth, ships wheel, golden maze, whig rose, spider web, Job’s tears, drunkard’s path.

Turkey red dye would not fade, indigo would.

Ms. Jane Long made a quilt with 21,840 pieces, using 20 spools (wooden) of thread.

Quilting bees made for production and gossip, both necessary to keep things heated up on long winter nights. Some got hot.

So cherish your hand-me-down, inherited, handcrafted heirlooms that hark back to harmony, honey, cause they ain’t making no quilts no mo’.

The old grey goose is dead, go tell Aunt Rhody.

Clyde is a Salisbury artist.


High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide


City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras


Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week


Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant




Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers


COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight


Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’


West Rowan Middle eighth grader wins investment writing contest


YSUP Rowan invites agencies to participate in youth-focused training