A Spinner in the Sun (Chapter 5, page 1 of 12)

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Chapter 5

"Araminta," said Miss Mehitable, "go and get your sewing and do your stent."

"Yes, Aunt Hitty," answered the girl, obediently.

Each year, Araminta made a new patchwork quilt. Seven were neatly folded and put away in an old trunk in the attic. The eighth was progressing well, but the young seamstress was becoming sated with quilts. She had never been to school, but Miss Mehitable had taught her all she knew. Unkind critics might have intimated that Araminta had not been taught much, but she could sew nicely, keep house neatly, and write a stilted letter in a queer, old-fashioned hand almost exactly like Miss Mehitable's.

That valiant dame saw no practical use in further knowledge. She was concerned with no books except the Bible and the ancient ledger in which, with painstaking exactness, she kept her household accounts. She deemed it wise, moreover, that Araminta should not know too much.

From a drawer in the high, black-walnut bureau in the upper hall, Araminta drew forth an assortment of red, white, and blue cotton squares and diamonds. This was to be a "patriotic" quilt, made after a famous old pattern which Miss Hitty had selfishly refused to give to any one else, though she had often been asked for it by contemporary ladies of similar interests.

The younger generation was inclined to scout at quilt-making, and needlework heresy was rampant in the neighbourhood. Tatting, crocheting, and knitting were on the wane. An "advanced" woman who had once spent a Summer in the village had spread abroad the delights of Battenberg and raised embroidery. At all of these, Miss Hitty sniffed contemptuously.

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