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A Story Of A Hexie Quilt

Summary

Quilting Contessa shares a story about a box of hexies and the quilt that it became.  Quilt history is fun. Read and enjoy this one.

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A Story Of A Hexie Quilt

Every quilt has a story or tells a story

In 2013, a friend of my mother's found a bag of over 200 paper-pieced hexies in the arts and crafts room of the Methodist Church thrift store in Texas where she worked. She guessed that no one would know what to do with them, so she gave them to my mother. My mother was 88 at the time, so no way was she going to do all that hand stitching to turn the hexies into a quilt. Mom gave the bag of hexies to me.

A Story Of A Hexie Quilt

 

Over the next three years, my husband and I arranged the hexies into flowers. I hand-stitched them, often while doing my summer work camping job. Being interested in the age of the hexies, I asked everyone who saw me working on them if they knew anything about the age of the fabric. At one quilt show in Columbus, Ohio, a former quilt shop owner identified the darkest grey fabric with the pink roses as being from the 1950's, so I resolved to keep a vintage look to the quilt.

grey

 

I always called the quilt "Grandmother McCoy's Garden" because McCoy was the only name that I had seen written on the hexies. Note the age of the computer paper used in these hexies. Often, they appeared to have been cut from a church bulletin.

McCoy

 

I appliqued the finished flowers onto muslin, thinking that would preserve the vintage look of the hexies. I was a new quilter then, and not able to "see" the finished quilt in my mind.

Hexie

 

When hexie flowers are completed, of course, one removes the papers from the back of the individual hexies. I saved all the papers and, after finishing the quilt, began to dig through them for more clues. I found these two papers with the name of "Chapelain William McCoy" of Fort Drum, New York and Strasbourg, France.

Chaplain

 

Naturally, the next step was on the Internet to see if I could locate Chaplain McCoy. I did find a William McCoy who was a military chaplain on Facebook. Alas, when he replied to my message, he was not the William McCoy that I was seeking. Nice of him to answer such a strange request, though!

 

I did find some information that seemed to indicate that Rev. McCoy stills serves in Strasbourg, France. I always wonder who made these hexies and how they got from either Camp Drum, New York or Strasbourg, France to a little church thrift shop in Texas.

 

Every quilt has a story…

 

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Glossary

Muslin
A type of loosely-woven cotton fabric, introduced to Europe from the Middle East in the 17th century. It became very popular at the end of the 18th century in France. Muslin is most typically a closely-woven unbleached or white cloth, produced from corded cotton yarn. Wide muslin is called "sheeting". It is often used to make dresses or curtains but may be used to complement foam for bench padding. Muslin breathes well, and is a good choice of material for clothing meant for hot, dry climates.
Author
Debi Warner
Author and humorist, Debi Warner, retired after many years as a clinical librarian and information specialist. She has her Master’s in Library and Information Science and achieved a Distinguished level in the Medical Library Association’s Association of Health Information Professionals. She has worked on teaching physicians to use computers and electronic resources. She also worked on several grants teaching the public how to use the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus public database and is co-author of several articles on health literacy. She took up quilting after retirement in 2012 and chaired the Rio Grande Valley Quilt Show in 2019. She currently teaches several quilting classes over Zoom and writes for QuiltingHub.
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