Grandma’s Quilt Rack

One of my most vivid memories of my Grandma McMurray’s house is her quilt rack, which always had a quilt stretched across it and several chairs surrounding it. She would host quilting bees at her house in front of the Franklin Stove. The rest of the house was overflowing with antiques and other crazy stuff. But this is where she relaxed and socialized with her lady friends.

Gear and brake

I was fortunate that my father kept the quilting rack from her estate. Then, he gave it to me when I started quilting. For years, I toted it from one house to another (it has lived in 5 different states). I even had contemplated donating it to a local folk museum, as I had never had room to set it up. That all changed yesterday, when my son (a competent woodworker) helped me to clean it and assemble it in my quilting area (I have basically confiscated the entire basement). The stretcher bars are still straight, but the ends have swollen a little, so a rubber mallet helped. The wooden gears are all in tact and the breaks are still in place. It is in pretty good condition for being over 100 years old!

As a longarm quilter, you may wonder why I would want to set up a quilt rack made for hand quilting? Well, I do have a quilt in the works that will need to be hand quilted and embroidered. But in the meantime, I plan to cover the stretcher bars with fabric (leaders). Then, I can use it to hold the half dozen quilts waiting for their turn on the long arm! It’s a good use of a quilting rack.

I am glad that my grandma’s quilting legacy will live on. I will keep you posted on my progress!

Happy Quilting 🙂