Tuesday, November 25, 2014

As promised - many times.... Grandma's Gift to me

I'm a quilter, and it's because of my Grandma Theresa. She quilted, so I come by my interests honestly.
These three are quilts she made for me. This green one is so much darker green. And you can see where I got my love of orange, too. As the story goes - Grandma sewed, and Grandpa cut out the fabrics. (I would have loved to see that in action. My Grandpa was a farmer with big hard working hands.) As I understand, he made the patterns, too. I like that they worked together... but maybe not on these three quilts. Grandpa passed on when I was only 5, and I got these as a shower gift - I was 20 then. (OMG - She didn't think they were enough of a gift, so she gave me some paper products as well.)
This one is a Nosegay - the pattern name. Names weren't given to quilts in those days, and there isn't a label on any of them either. (I think I'll add one.) Grandma always used satin blanket binding on all her quilts.

See how fearless she is... orange and pink together! I've always marveled at this orange and blue Grandmother's Flower Garden - all those hexies. It's a full size. Queen size was unknown to my Grandma. She passed early in 1974.

 You should have seen this quilt on my sunlit bed in the Music Room of my mansion turned apartment building in the 1970s. There was a beautiful and memorable glow even in the winter time.

(Our mansion was turned into an apartment building in the 20s or 30s so all the woodwork was crafted well, and elegantly. We owned it, because it only cost us $18,500 for 3 apartments and ours on the first floor - a really good investment. I wish we had kept it and stayed there in Superior, WI, but there were no jobs there at the time.)

And this one has many fabrics I recognize from either clothes or from fabrics she gave me to make quilts. I had no idea what to do with them. (An aside to Ashleigh: if that's your problem with the blue stack - let me know and we can do a Grandma Camp to start off.)

This one is tied, but the other two are quilted in a big stitch way. You can see some stains - but for 40 some years of use, they are in good shape for another 100 years or so. (I hope the inheritors are respectful and careful. Quilts aren't meant to be washed weekly.)
My Grandma embroidered, too and crocheted (my sister's inherited skill) and knitted. She went to Vocational School in her 60s and 70s and learned - get this - learned darning. I'd say she probably could have taught the class... she had decades of darning behind her at that point, but she also took cooking classes... and upholstery. There was no moss growing on this granny. She made quilts for all her family, and hemmed towels, made little decorative pillows, embroidered pillowcases and lots of other things donated to the Church Bazaars. She didn't watch TV except for the news, and she didn't have a computer. She also had a job... staying the night with an old lady who was only slightly older than she was, but had to have someone with her at night - said her  kids. Loved and admired my granny.
My Grandma Edna had a very different life. She kept house for an older gent so she did have room and board. She read the Bible in her spare time. Lots of people haven't got the wealth to be able to make things at all, let alone, for other people. I admired her calm... and as everyone else does, loved my granny.
Sew that's  the promise fulfilled. Have any of you got inherited quilts? We'd love to see them.
I'm very thankful for the Grandmas I had.  Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving... whenever it is. I'm making turkey and some trimmings - he doesn't like dressing, and I don't need those extra carbs. There will be cranberry juice, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a baked yam, as well.


  1. I love those quilts! You are so fortunate to have them to go with your wonderful memories.

  2. These are wonderful! What a gift your grandmother gave to you. They look fantastic for 40 years old. How cool that your grandma and grandpa worked together. I've seen enough of those "big hardworking" farmer hands to have a ready visual in my mind's eye. I found another quilt by my grandmother I've been meaning to blog about. It's a doubleknit top, so right there you know it's gonna be funky. What she sashed it with is even more outrageous, lol.

  3. My Aunt Marie and your Aunt Theresa would have made great friends. My Aunt Marie only watched football and the news! She, too, donated to a "bazaar": it was a children's home gift shop. I have hemmed towels and pillowcases, crocheted snowmen, aprons and other assorted items that she made. Aren't we the lucky two to have had such wonderful people in our lives!

  4. Oh my...your quilts are wonderful! Lucky you to have such treasures and treasured memories!!

  5. What a wonderful post, Teresa. Beautiful quilts! I wish I could have met her, talked to her about her quilts and quilting.
    Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving. Dinner sounds delicious : )
    Stay warm and dry up there in gorgeous Oregon.

  6. What amazing quilts and how lovely that you have them to remind you of your very interesting and talented grandmother. She sounds fearless and her quilting work is fantastic.

    Happy T Day Terri - may your turkey be moist and your gravy unlumpy!

  7. You saying about a satin ribbon binding sent me back to my early days where the blankets I had from a baby (from my grandmother) had a satin ribbon bound edge too. The nearest town of Witney had Early's wool blanket factory, so offcuts for cots would've been easy to get hold of. I think the blankets were from her own children from the 1930s and 40s. Sadly I don't have any quilts but I do have a flapper shawl which was hers and a velvet wrap. It is so wonderful that you have those beautiful quilts from your grandmother- yes do put their history on labels on the back. They are family treasures and deserve to bear her name for forthcoming generations.

  8. What wonderful treasures. I just got some 'family' quilts, but, I haven't blogged about them yet. Hope your Thanksgiving was nice. We went to friends house.

  9. how gorgeous! I love stories about quilts... I come from Italy and quilts are not part of our life/heritage call it what you want... which is sad because I love them.

    thank you for sharing!

  10. Lovely quilts and so great that you know the history of some of the fabrics. Adding a label is a good idea. I don't have any inherited quilts as I'm the first quilter in a long row of sewing women, but I do have inherited fabric to make dozens of "old" quilts, and I have their other sewings like table cloths.


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