This basket in our den holds various throws and shawls. I ignore it most of the summer. But the mornings are much cooler now and I find myself throwing on the shawl or grabbing a throw when I want to take a nap on the sofa. In that basket, you can see one of the quilts my grandmother made me.
Grandma grew up on a farm in Canada. She knew how to sew, to embroider, to tat, to crochet and to quilt. She carried those skills with her as she made a home in Michigan. Every winter, she made one quilt. Maybe two. I had a Sunbonnet Sue quilt when I was very young and I have no idea where that one ended up. I suspect it was passed on to one of my sisters and where it went from there…I have no idea. This particular quilt covered my twin sized bed.
Hand appliqued, hand quilted and made from her fabric scraps. Those same scraps were used to make clothes for my dolls. Don’t you love these fabrics? I wish I had her scrap bag. I used to spend hours sorting through the material, loving all the various patterns.
Grandma’s quilts were heavy, much heavier than any of the quilts I’ve made. I think she used heavy cotton blankets as the center of the quilt sandwich. Whatever she used, the weight is substantial – perfect for Michigan winters and, now, for New York winters.
It needs some repair. I wonder if those green flowers were once much brighter? Take a peek at the backing fabric:
It’s a fairly bright green. And oh, those perfect, even stitches.
I vaguely remember Grandma sitting in a chair, quilting. But only vaguely. Certainly I had no interest in it myself until much later in my life, long after Grandma had left us. I often think she would have been so happy to see me quilting. She would have loved the fact that Meredith knits, crochets and weaves. And that I knit, crochet, embroider and quilt.
It’s so important to pass these skills on to the next generation. Meredith taught my niece Elizabeth how to knit. Perhaps Elizabeth will teach her daughters to wield a knitting needle. I remember Grandma trying to teach me how to crochet with white thread, the kind she used in her pillowcase edgings. My mom taught me how to knit – a skill I promptly forgot until Meredith reintroduced it to me in 2001. (We had moved to a town on the Hudson River, just north of Manhattan, two months before 9-11. I needed the comfort that knitting can give.)
I love this generational sharing. My grandmother, my mother, my sister, my niece, me.
Did someone in your life pass a creative art on to you?
Linking to Elaine’s Sunny Simple Sundays.