I started making small art quilts for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative in 2007 when I was a new quilter. Both of my parents suffered from Alzheimer’s, and I wrote a bit about why I make these quilts in this post.
This quilt, Fading Memories, is my favorite. Both my parents served in the Navy in World War II, so I started with photos of them in their uniforms. I overlaid these with photos from throughout their lives, including their children and grandchildren. Fortunately my brother won the auction for this quilt, so I still get to see it.
Another Water Lily may be my last quilt for AAQI since they are wrapping up their fundraising at the end of 2013. This is a variation of Chiaroscuro Water Lily which I wrote about here.
Detail of Another Water Lily:
I have most of my AAQI quilts on this page.
Here’s a photo of my parent on their wedding day.
Charles Schroeder on growing up during the Depression:
A haircut only cost 25 cents. A movie went for 10 cents. Toward the end of the depression we got to see a movie every Saturday afternoon. Bob and I really liked the movie, Robin Hood, so much that we decided to see it twice. My parents couldn’t find us and were quite angry when we finally showed up. They had a short episode (The Lone Ranger) where each one ended in a cliff-hanger. A single dip cone was 5 cents and a double dip cone was 10 cents. Ice cream bars were 5 cents and if you were lucky the stick had “free” on it and your next bar didn’t cost anything. Sweet rolls were only 2 cents. We played baseball in a cow pasture. Most of the time the ball that we used was held together with electrical tape.
During part of grade school and most of high school I set pins in a bowling alley. What you had to do was: return the ball by placing it on a ball return rack; pick up the pins and place them in the pin setter and set the pins down on the alley after a strike or a second ball. You picked up four pins at a time. You had to make sure that you were out of the way when the pins were hit. If you were skilled you could set ‘doubles’—two adjacent alleys. You were paid 10 cents a game—it may have been 5 cents at the start of my doing this—and you were able to bowl free.
The first car that we had (it was really a truck) was an old, ugly Ford truck. My father cut a board that he put behind the seat. This is where Bob and I sat when we went somewhere
together. Sometime later my father bought a for door sedan of unknown make and year.. In 1941 my parents bought a ’36 Ford for $125. This was a tremendous improvement. Around ’39 my father got a Painter’s Union Card and was working 30 hours a week for $60. That was a good wage at that time.
My first real job (1941) paid 32.5 cents/hour. The following summer I earned 40 cents/hour and surprisingly I was able to save money—no taxes. When I was going with your mother I was making $298/month (1950). My first job after graduation from college paid $4000/year (1952) and this was a fairly competitive salary.
Excerpts from Marion Schwerman Schroeder’s journals and letters:
Tuesday, June 26, 1934—I had a lemonade stand today. I made 22 cents clear. Dolores helped me. One man bought two five-cent glasses and then gave us a nickel extra.
August 7, Saturday—My bicycle came about a week ago. Boy, it sure is swell. It has Gillette Balloon tires and a new departure coaster brake and everything. Daddy got me a basket, horn, electric light, and bell for it. I have rode an awful lot with it already.
Monday, January 4, 1937 — We played basketball in gym today. Our side won 4 to 0 and I scored those 4 points. I got 93 on an English Test. There were only 2 in the class that got higher. It seemed awful to go back to school again after Christmas vacation.
May 4, 1944 (Thursday Evening)
Dear Daddy and Mom,
Whew!!!!! I‘d have my feet soaking in a pail of water if there were pails of water in this Navy. We got here about 9:30 A.M. and have been marching just about ever since (It‘s 9 P.M. now). It‘s about 10 blocks to the hotel where we eat and I haven‘t seen the scenery along the way yet because it‘s always eyes ahead. Today we took physicals, got fitted for uniform, and filled out hundreds of questionnaires. I now have 10 shirts, raincoat, hats (which we wear already), ties, 4 prs. of gloves. Tomorrow we get shoes. Uniforms are gorgeous. We get in about 10 days. Lots more to tell—will write again soon—long letter Saturday.
May 6, 1944 (Saturday Morning)
Dear Daddy and Mom,
We just got back from breakfast and now we have a half hour before the next thing on the schedule. Everyday we march about 4 miles getting to and from squads. We have to march with our company— everyone who lives in this house—and we are divided into platoons of 18 girls in each. Everywhere we go we go with our platoon, and we always have the same place in the platoon. Yesterday we spent two hours under the scorching sun on the drill field. Drilling looks simple, but it is very complicated, and also very embarrassing when you turn left and the other 89 girls turn right. Classes haven‘t started yet but will Monday. We got our shoes and lisle stockings yesterday. Neither are very pretty but at least they are comfortable. The shoes have almost flat heels, thank goodness. I certainly ought to be neat when I get out of here. It takes about 20 minutes to make a bed. People seldom sleep in them completely because it takes so long to make them again. There can be no dust in the room. If the inspector can‘t find it anywhere else he or she will take a white-gloved finger and rub it along the floor or under the radiator. Yesterday a dead fly was found under some girl‘s desk. I never did find out what happened to them. It‘s really quite a bit of fun—at least for seven weeks. After, and if we get on commission, the regulations are relaxed and we can be normally messy again. I‘ll be sending my clothes home one of these days.
Charlie and Marion in 2002:
Visit Nina-Marie’s blog for Off the Wall Fridays and be inspired.
Beautiful quilts! I am interested in learning more about your layering methods for your Faded Memories quilt.
Me too! Your work is beautiful and the stories about you parents are wondrperful!
What a wonderful treasure you have there in all those stories and photos. I LOVE the one of your parents with the multiple layers of photos. So happy it got to stay in your family. The lily is very pretty too!
Hi, Jean. Marvelous post–I read every word with relish. I’ve been embroiled in family history and photographs for awhile, so I found your stories very interesting. LUV the Faded Memories quilt–a work that has substantial technique to support what you have to say about memory. Perfect! I never say this, but I wish I had had the idea myself!
best from Tunisia,
Thanks everyone for your nice comments. Since there were questions about how I did the “Fading Memories” quilt, I’ve written a post about it, which you can see here: http://wp.me/p1iMDb-YS
Ramona, I loved seeing your quilts and your parent’s story is lovely. I visit my mom for about 2 hours each day in the nursing home . It never gets any easier. Jay’s mom got senile dementia and so she did not know to be unhappy! My mom is just so unhappy! I wish and pray every night for God to bring her up c my dad and little brothers. Think of you often. Suzanne