Contributed by Shelley Harvey

Shelley Harvey
Bradford, PA
Church, Generations, Grandmothers, Handmade, Quilts

I was born 12 miles from Seneca land and while I feel connected to his land because it is my home, my blanket story originates in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. My story is about a very special woman to me. The matriarch of our family. Dora Leap, my grandmother. She was a devoted church woman. A wife. A sister.  A grandmother. A great grandmother. And now a great great grandmother. She was an artist and a quilter. She quilted continually with other women of the Presbyterian Church. She boasted such pride for her intricate designs and beautiful artistry. Her work supported the church and its many ministries - from feeding the hungry to providing a warm blanket for the warmth of others. And with the scraps she’d make “domestic” quilts - patchwork created with pieces from her house dresses and aprons. She would call them ‘the scraps’. But to us, they are the true treasures. In every in of these blankets is Grandma Leap- her smell, touch, and warmth. She is the matriarch and I will be forever touched by her. She is the tread that runs through the fabric of our family.