Recently, Hancock Fabrics got a new group of fabrics in the store called ‘Granny’s Hankies’ (many stores have it labeled as ‘Nana’s Hankies’). The name made me think of my mother, and all the hankies I wore and used as I was growing up.
When I was growing up, it seemed we didn’t go anywhere without a hankie. Some women wore large colorful handkerchiefs to cover their heads when working in the garden, and men had an everyday variety to use when work got too hot. There were also the nicer handkerchiefs, crisp white cotton or sometimes linen. Men wore these in their suits as a sign of wealth or good breeding, women carried hankies trimmed with lace in a pocket or tiny purse, ready to touch to the lips to mask an inappropriate expression.
There were certain events that you absolutely had to have a hankie, or you just weren’t properly dressed – Sunday School, weddings and funerals. In the 50s and into the 60s, all the girls were wearing colorful hankies (now we would call them scarves) in their hair or tied around the neck. For my wedding, one of the very important decisions that we made concerning my outfit was my hankie. Would I carry a brand new one, or one that was borrowed? Whichever choice was made – I knew it would be a very special hankie.
Coming from a family of 10, you can imagine what it was like getting everyone ready and out the door Sunday morning for church. But I remember my mother always made sure that we had our hankies. She would tie my offering into the corner of the hankie, and as we went out the door, she would always say, “make sure your hankie is in your pocket.” I could hear my mother’s voice as I looked at the fabrics. With these memories – how could I call this quilt anything except, “Hankie in Your Pocket”?
The pattern in my next entry is FREE – please print the information and create your own hankie quilt. All I ask is that you remember where it came from, and if others are interested in the pattern please direct them here.
Anyone wishing to teach this pattern may contact me for permission through this blog – just comment here and I will respond.
The coordinate fabrics would also make a very cute little girl’s dress, using one of the hankie blocks to make a hankie to go in the dress pocket.
Interested in more information about the handkerchief and it’s long history? Check out this link!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing