Friday, January 29, 2016

The Fabric of MY Life

Over the holidays, my oldest son was kind enough to help me clean out the over-filled garage. It had been bothering me for ages but I never seemed to get around to doing it myself. At the back of the garage I found a huge tub full of the coolest things that I had forgotten about; wooden spools from the Rocky Mount Mills, built in 1818 at the Falls of the Tar River in North Carolina. This was a cotton mill and the oldest textile mill in the state. I acquired these from my son who got them from a salvage shop where he found out the history of spools.

Burned by Sherman's troops in 1865, it was rebuilt only to be burned again by an incendiary in 1869. It was reconstructed for a second time in 1870 and this remained part of the plant until it closed in 1996 when cotton production dwindled.

The cotton yarn would be transferred from the spinning bobbins to these spools. From the spools the yarn would then be sent to the twister rooms. The various paint colors on the spools would help differentiate the counts of yarns. Some of this paint still remains on each spool.

I have adorned each 7 inch tall spool with my image of Quilting Bees and then hand painted a cotton boll at the top. Cotton fields are not as prevalent in this part of the state as they used to be when I first moved here so this is an important reminder for me. The quilt in the image is from a patchwork quilt my mother made many years ago - from cotton.

If you would like one for yourself, please email me for the price at:

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