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The Quilts & Life of Florence Cook Clountz
Threads of Grayson County History

Florence Lucille Cook Clountz in front of her house ready to work outside in the yard or her garden, or with her livestock, which she loved to do!  She made the bonnet herself and stiffened it using strips cut from a Cherrios box. I still have the bonnet and her apron which she also made. 

 A true pioneer lady, she came to Grayson county at the turn of the 20th century in a covered wagon from Bosque County, Texas.  She worked hard all her life.  She worked in her vegetable garden the day she died suddenly at age 91, in the month of August.  She was hardly ever sick. 

Mama made this quilt from feed sacks and old clothing.
It has been used a lot and is tattered, but still treasured

 "I remember she kept boxes and boxes of quilt pieces, scraps of material left over from other projects, old clothes to be cut up and made into quilts, feed and flour sacks to be used as quilt pieces and used many times to make clothes from.  I wore many flour sack dresses and shirts. Some of those prints were very beautiful. Mama went through the Depression, so she never threw anything away that could be used later.  If material wasn't good enough for clothes or quilts anymore, it was saved and used as rags around the house and farm because they couldn't afford to buy things like that. 

In the good ole days, we slept on old iron bedsteads, painted and flaked and painted over again countless times with whatever paint they had.  These beds had old hard metal innersprings sitting on wooden slats between the bed rails.   On top of this was an old, old, OLD ticking mattress that was probably from the 1920s or 1930s (this was in the1960s) that sagged in the middle a lot,  and all that "comfort" was sitting out on a screened in porch, which is mite nigh just a euphamism for being outside. At first we only had a tarp that we put up over the screen in the winter to keep the wind out.  In the summer, we let the flap down to keep from burning up at night.   When we got really lucky, we were able to find enough boards to box the porch in for the winter.  Why we didn't sleep in the house by the wood stove in the dining room, I will never understand; but as a child, I didn't question it; it had just always been this way.  There once in ancient days was an old gas heater out there, but it had long ago succumed to old age.  You must understand, just like there were Japanese that were found on islands years after the war who still thought it was going on, our family was never informed that the Great Depression had ended.  That is how we continued to live on throught the 1970s.  When you don't have money, you don't fix things that break, you use them to stack things on, or just to stumble over in the middle of the night.  But YOU DON"T THROW THEM AWAY, YOU MIGHT NEED THAT SOMEDAY.  I hear that in my sleep. Anyway, jn the winter that bed on the porch was just a little warmer than crawling onto an ice block to sleep.  Then you struggled under SO MANY quilts you could hardly breathe under them for the weight, and it took a LONG time to get your space warmed up under there from your own body heat, what there was left of it because you felt like ice!  Then you didn't dare move one inch all night because wherever your foot or hand moved, it was ice cold under there.  But it was hard to move anyway because the mass of quilts weighed a ton!  But we didn't freeze, we survived because of those old quilts, lovingly, painstakingly, stitched with old hands from old pieces of cloth that nobody else wanted.  The memories of those old quilts those are like gold now.  Amazing what a worthless piece of cloth can do!

Family Tree 

Elaine Nall Bay
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