Once upon a time a widow had three daughters. The first two were extravagant but the third was thrifty. While her sisters longed for fine things, the youngest daughter spent her time sewing dress scraps into elaborate quilts with her mother. When the time came for the sisters to be married, the first two daughters choose men who could buy them dresses of velvet and silk. The youngest daughter chose a man who would let her quilt with her mother. When her work was done for the day, the youngest daughter would return home to the sewing room and quilt as her mother sat rocking in a rocking chair. The two older sisters spent their time at parties and dances. They rarely came to visit their poor mother.

One sad day the mother died and the girls gathered for the reading of her will. Each daughter was to receive one quilt, then the house would be sealed for a week. At the end of the week, the daughters could take whatever they wanted from the house. The youngest daughter was pleased to have a simple nine patch quilt that she and her mother had made together, but her two older sisters fumed. They didn’t want blankets made of rags. They threw their quilts down and marched off. The youngest daughter picked up the quilts and went home to cry for her mother.

The older sisters plotted to sneak into the house before the week was up and take any money or jewelry they could find. The two waited until the darkest part of a very dark night to sneak inside. They searched and searched for jewelry and money, finally ending up in the sewing room. When one greedy sister opened their mother’s sewing box, the sewing scissors flew out cutting the girls’ dresses. Snip, snip, snip went the scissors, and down fell squares of velvet and diamonds of silk. Snip, snip, snip, the scissors went again and long strips of snowy white lace fell from their petticoats. The two sisters ran empty handed from the house wearing only rags.

When it came time to claim their inheritance, the older sisters were too scared of the haunted scissors to enter. The youngest daughter couldn’t understand their fears. She went inside and up to the sewing room where she had spent so many hours working happily with her mother. There she found a quilt she had never seen before, it had elaborate wheels of velvet and silk, with borders of soft white lace and though the girl had never seen her mother work on it her mother’s initials were neatly stitched in the corner.