From fanciful flowers to practical prints, checks and stripes, Florence’s Fancy tells the story of two women named Florence, grandmother Mary Florence and granddaughter, Florence Marie. Wife of a doctor, Mary Florence Gough Carpenter 1867-1931, raised her five children in North Texas and a vacation home on the Gulf during the Gilded Age near the end of the 19th Century and early 20th Century. A gourmet cook, Mary Florence set elaborate tables of silver, china and cut glass, complete with equally elaborate floral arrangements from her gardens. In contrast, her granddaughter, Florence Marie Carter Reed 1920-2013 (my mom), was practical and frugal with her life framed by the Great Depression. Mom’s cooking was nothing fancy, just delicious home cooking served on a simple, yet beautiful table with an occasional vase of flowers.
These two women, one whom I never knew, shared something else in common, neither made quilts! As I gather memories to combine with beautiful florals and prints, I realize I have so many questions as we are products of our surroundings, and those who have gone before. I’m glad for what I do know, happy to have inherited some of Mary Florence’s furniture and dishes, and my mom’s cooking skills, but really happy that the love of quilts and making them, skipped their generations to find me!