Country Kitchen: A Family Heritage of Quilting

Country Kitchen: A Family Heritage of Quilting
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As I sat beside my grandmother in her farmhouse kitchen, an 8-year old learning to piece a quilt, I never realized I was participating in a family heritage of quiltmaking. Ancestors before me had pursued this activity which my daughter, granddaughter and I would carry on. When I look at that quilt I made with Nanny, faded and well-used, it brings back memories of enjoyable times together.
My mother, although she didn't do much quilting, encouraged me to engage in this art during our country's Bicentennial years. "You have all those scraps from your sewing. Why not make some quilts for my country store?"

Thus began my years of operating a quiltmaking business from our home while my daughter was growing up. Those years of being surrounded by quilts and colorful fabrics instilled in her a love of this art as well.

She now does more quiltmaking than I, winning awards with her original designs. Then her young daughter become interested in fabrics, started making doll quilts and quilt hangings.

The three of us have taught workshops in which we depict history (of a town or a family) in a quilt, and show others how to do the same. We try to pass along the love of quilts and quiltmaking that has captivated Americans throughout the years.

Writing About Quilting

My quilting has become tied into my writing as I write for quilting magazines and online publications. Most recently I wrote The Magic of Patchwork, where you can discover the magical world of quilts and quilt history and the role this has played in my life.

Connecting quiltmaking into the theme of novels and mysteries has become popular with a number of authors nowadays. Whole series of books revolving around quilts and quilters have come into vogue. Some quilting groups have compiled recipe books as fund raisers for their guilds; others have collected quilters' recipes and comments in books they've edited.

I was quoted in Elaine Miles' book, Guiding Stars, a Sampler of Quilters' Favorite Quotations: "Quiltmaking is one of those arts which forms a common bond among quiltmakers around the world and, once in the blood, is an activity the quilter can never give up."

Favorite Foods of Quilters

A quick main dish for busy quilters:

CHICKEN DIVAN - Cook 2 packages of broccoli spears until tender. (We sometimes use cut-up broccoli pieces.) Lay broccoli in a 9 x 13-inch dish.

Take bone from 4 whole cooked chicken breasts or use 4 breasts which have been deboned before cooking. Cut chicken into pieces and lay over broccoli.

Mix together 1 can cream mushroom soup and 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 small can mushroom pieces. Pour over broccoli and chicken. (Soups and sour cream can be low fat type for fewer calories.)

Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes until bubbly. Serve with tossed salad.

Article (C) 2004 Mary Emma Allen

About the Author

Mary Emma Allen has been writing her "Cooking Column" for newspapers and online publications for 30 years and has compiled a family cookbook. SheÂ’s currently compiling a cookbook/story book, "Tales From a Country Kitchen." Visit her web site for more cooking articles. Contact her at

Click Here for The Country Kitchen Series Index


About The Author

Mary Emma Allen researches and writes from her multi-generational NH home. Check out her new site, Tea Time Notes

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