Monday, October 10, 2011

Grandmothers

I posted this as a comment on Pat Wys' blog, Silver Thimble Talk. She asked readers to "tell me about your grandmother or grandfather or someone who had a profound influence on your life." 
This is what I said:

Both of my grandmothers influenced me greatly. 
My paternal grandmother, Granny Black, had a stroke when I was young (I am thinking I was around 10 years old.) The stroke left her paralyzed on her right side. She taught me to bake so that I could help her with Christmas baking. Once you can follow a recipe to make a cake, you can learn to cook anything! Before she had the stroke, she was a quilter. I do remember playing under the quilt frame on the front porch. 


My maternal grandmother was also a quilter. She continued to make quilts until she was no longer able. She influenced me by showing me that perfection in a quilt is not necessary for it to be loved and used. 


I wish I could talk to each of them again and tell them how they made my life better by their lessons.
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Let me add to that. My maternal grandmother's quilts were not fancy. Sometimes they were planned, but if she ran out of a fabric, she would use whatever else she had to finish it.  Thus I have a sky blue and orange running brick quilt with one piece of a printed cream on one edge.  She also quilted by hand with embroidery floss in a large, sometimes crooked, running stitch.  I cherish these imperfect beauties. 
Here is one that "lives" on the back of my sofa.
 There are memories sewn into this lap quilt. Most of the fabric came from old clothes and such that she cut up to use "just to keep my hands busy." (and don't I know that feeling!) 
Check out the green curtains from Mom's kitchen that ended up in the mix. I don't know what the white lace came from, but I am sure it was another garment , it was not part of those curtains.

Sadly no quilts from my paternal grandmother lasted past my childhood.  

11 comments:

Rhonda said...

Gene, what a wonderful tribute to your grandmothers and what precious memories. Thanks for sharing with us.

Stray Stitches said...

What wonderful memories are sewn in to that quilt. Thank you for sharing about your grandmothers.

Pat said...

You are so lucky to have some things that were made by family members. I have one crocheted afghan made by my mother. Nobody in my family quilted, so I really appreciate the old quilts my blogging friends show that have been passed down to them.

♥♥♥♥ said...

Fortunately you have one and beautiful! I'm addicted to crazy quilting and when I see the patches and also have memories. I have one fabric which my mother bought when I was a child and I put it on the squares.

Greetings from Brazil - Sandra :)

Sandra said...

Fortunately you have one and beautiful! I'm addicted to crazy quilting and when I see the patches and also have memories. I have one fabric which my mother bought when I was a child and I put it on the squares.

Greetings from Brazil - Sandra :)

Tonya said...

how cool, I have a quilt my mom cross stitched for E when he was born, I'll cherish that........E has no clue the value and it's worth to ME

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Great story Jean....thanks for sharing....billie

quiltmom said...

My grandmother had a profound effect on my life. She was a young grandmother( not quite 40 when I was born) I was fortunate enough to have her as part of my life for almost 47 years. She was not a quilter but she was my champion and she loved me unconditionally. She was a fabulous cook and a wonderful role model. I do have a top that was a set of pieced embroidery blocks that she did with some ladies of the community. I have it and perhaps one day I will batt it and back it to ensure its stability.
My other grandmother died before I was born. I am told she was a quilter but not of her work survived unfortunately.
I love your piece of green in your grandmother's quilt.
Regards,
Anna

JJ said...

Both my grandmothers were quilters. One just made them with what she had and she made each grandchild one. The other one planned them out and hers were works of Art. I wish I had the rose of sharon she used to have on her bed when I was growing up. They passed quilting on to my mom and then to me and I have passed it on to my girls. Who knows maybe it will keep going.

Royce said...

it is wonderful you have a quilt of your grandmothers. I love her outlook of perfection not being the end all be all. My thoughts exactly. Quilts are to be loved and hugged.

Stormee said...

I really enjoyed your blog. Not only do men quilt, they love quilts. My husband has a quilt that his mom made for him when he was younger and whenever he is not feeling well he gets under that quilt. I is all ratty and I have mended it several times for him.. he does not like anyone else to use that quilt. But when the kids come to visit that is the first quilt they will grab.
I also like what what you said about colorful quilts. I love to use a lot of different colors in my quilts. God bless you and have a great day.