|1915 Friendship Quilt |
Created by Nellie Lyons Massera, Monterey County, California
© Teresa L. Fraser 2011
Last summer I traveled from the San Francisco area to San Benito County to meet a 92-year-old woman who actually remembers my great grandfather, Vincenzo Lawrence Massera (1870-1962). [-] She also has a quilt dated Nov. 9, 1915 made by my great grandmother, Nellie Olive Lyons Massera (1886-1928). [-] It was given to her mother years ago. Click on the photo above to see a variety of decorative embroidery stitches my great grandmother used to piece together this friendship quilt.
After driving 80 miles through a patchwork of fields of California crops, I parked my car next to an old red barn and walked through a cottage garden of beautiful pansies, hot pink peonies and roses. Her garden reminded me of Monet’s impressionist paintings I saw in Paris.
After she offered me a cup of steaming English tea and plate of sugar cookies, she shared stories and pictures of my great grandfather. She said she remembered my great grandfather “Vic” because he used to give her silver dollars when he came to visit her parents. Apparently, that was a lot of money during the Depression.
Then, she showed me the quilt my great grandmother made for her mother. I thought it looked like a Crazy Quilt, with an array of different fabrics and colors, pieced together with decorative stitching. It was approximately 54” X 90” and was in great condition for nearly 100 years old. Seeing and touching my great grandmother’s quilt made me feel close to her. It gave me an appreciation of her quilting skills, creativity and persistence in finishing this quilt. I was proud of her.
 1900 U.S. census, Monterey County, California, population schedule, Gonzales Township, p. 206 (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 6, sheet 12-A, dwelling 258, family 267, V. Messera [Vincent Massera]; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2012) citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 94.
 Monterey County, California, death certificate no. 914, Vincenzo Massera; County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, Salinas.
 1900 U.S. census, Monterey County, California, population schedule, Castroville Township, p. 175 A (stamped), enumeration district (ED) 4, sheet 9-A, dwelling 157, family 157, Nellie O. Lyons, digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30 May 2012) citing NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 94.
 “Mrs. Massera’s Funeral Set For Monday Morning,” Society Section, Salinas Index-Journal, 3 Nov 1928.