As much as I think I can quilt okay (sometimes), I come from a very clever family. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother all did (and do) fabulous needlework. I often wonder how far back that gene goes, but I guess it's something I can only imagine. I guess in the 'way back when', women didn't have the time to do their needlework strictly for fun and relaxation like we do now.
I'm in the process of photographing all my quilts/embroidery/stuff for safe keeping. A lot of the stuff I have was given to me by family members. My mother did these:
The top was a design on calico from a local craft magazine (years old, I don't even know the title) and the bottom one was from a Semco kit of many years ago. It's on the loosest linen I've ever seen, so I think she did a stellar job. I don't know how to do that sort of embroidery (or at least, I don't know how to do it well) but both my nanna and mother do beautiful handwork.
She's a clever clogs, my mum.