The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996 Page: 14
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W ell my dear mother has to ask you for a little favor. Send me a few dollars. Mary
Louise has to pay for the cap & gown one day next week & I am afraid that the
government money might not be here & she could not get the cap & gown which you know
they use in the sermon & to graduating exercises. It has taken a right smart for her paying for
the invitations & different thing. So if you could be sure to get it here by Friday my dear.
Mother hate to have to ask you dear, but I know you [won't] mind this time. I am so proud of
my dress you sent. I love it more every time I look at it. It come from one so dear to his
mother. --- Letter dated May 17, 1936, from Jennie Rankin Ward to her son, Jake.
Mother said that Mrs. Ward had wanted to give her and Daddy a quilt for a wedding present.
But by June of 1936 Mrs. Ward was already sick with the cancer that would kill her three
years later. So, Mrs. Ward had only been able to make the squares for the quilt. She didn't feel
well enough to finish. Mrs. Ward apologized to mother, telling her that the quilt pieces were
all that she could afford to give her. For 55 years Mother kept the squares clean and neatly
pressed, waiting to be pieced together.
I arranged Mrs. Ward's quilt squares on the bed and decided to use a simple white cotton
broadcloth for strips between the squares. As I worked with the pieces, I couldn't help but feel
the love that went in to each stitch so carefully worked by hand. The pieces were scraps of
material that Mrs. Ward had used to make clothing for her family, but the patterned fabrics
were carefully matched with solid colors to be pleasing to the eye. I could tell that sometimes
she almost didn't have enough fabric because some of the pieces still had their selvages
attached. I had always been taught to trim off the selvages because they might shrink when
washed. So, Mrs. Ward wouldn't have left the selvages unless it was absolutely the last piece
she had. Mrs. Ward pieced together the quilt squares with the same love she used to keep her
family pieced together over the Depression years when her children were forced to leave the
safety of home and family in the country for unknown futures in faraway cities.
DG o r al 419
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 42, 1996, periodical, December 1996; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186855/m1/20/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.