Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Quilt of Memories

This quilt was made by my Grandma Tressie. (Isn't that a wonderful name?) It is hand pieced and hand quilted. I've had it in my hope chest for years and years and years. I think the hope chest was supposed to be for gathering up stuff to use when I was a married woman. Well, I've been so for 13 years now. I guess it's time.

I haven't used the quilt before because it's so precious to me. I don't want it to get damaged. Yet, the quilt is meant to be viewed. It's a storybook of memories. Many of the fabrics she chose (scraps I'm sure) were from clothing that she had also made for me. For example, Grandma used this plum calico print to make a "prairie dress" and matching bonnet for me. A bona fide bonnet! My class, maybe in 2nd grade, was taking a field trip to a log cabin village. I wanted a bonnet with intense desire that I can still feel. (I was in a Little House craze those days.) I no longer have the dress or the bonnet, but I have this quilt. What a gift! She was a wise woman to know I would one day treasure this.

I'm not sure why the idea came to me recently to pull out this quilt. It has been safely tucked away for a long time. Maybe because the nights are cooler now. Maybe because Grandma's birthday was this month. (She passed away in the late 1990s, herself also being in her late 90s.) Maybe because we're in that time of year when the spirits are said to be close to us. For whatever reason, I wanted to put it to use. Such a quilt full of memories!

16 comments:

Stephane said...

That's a great quilt! One that keeps body and soul warm and cozy. And I find it great that you would use it. Handmade objects that we can use in our daily life bring beauty and emotions.
Cheers from Taiwan!

Ginger said...

What a beautiful quilt full of happy memories. I know your Grandma would be happy that you are using her quilt. I'm sure you will smile every time you see it.

sweetcakes said...

My mom has a quilt like this and she usually puts it on the bed when I visit. Each square is made from a piece of clothing that my sisters or I wore when we were little. I always enjoy looking at it and can vividly remember wearing the outfits that now keep me warm at night.

Melanie said...

Lovely! Is this bed one you use regularly, or have you put it out on your guest bed?

I have an old quilt I'm still waiting to "grow up" to put out! It was made by my great-great grandma, so it's pretty fragile.

marlena said...

Use it and enjoy it, if it begins to wear out, make pillows or repair it so you can pass it on. I have some quilts from my grandmothers and great grand mothers and I treasure them. You are a lucky woman

Marilyn Miller said...

What a dear treasure! I have an old quilt that I leave folded at the foot of my bed, but don't use just because I don't want it to wear out. There are several quilts worn out in my cupboard, but I still don't have the heart to cut them up for anything else. So I just treasure them. Your quilt is even more special since you know the history of the fabrics too.

annelies said...

That's a beautiful quilt and I'm glad you shared some of the stories behind the fabrics. I think there is something so special about making gifts from hand!

Kas said...

My Grandma, mother and sister all quilted in their unique ways when I was growing up. For the past several months my thoughts have been pulled in that direction too. I've never made a quilt before and using a ruler makes me crazy nuts because I can't understand it very well but I think this winter is probably going to finally be the time when I take steps toward making my first one. I love your quilt and am so glad you share it with us!

Linda J. said...

"A storybook of memories" is a perfect description of quilts like this one that were made from scraps of leftover fabric. I have one my grandmother made and it is a priceless treasure.

Angela McRae said...

What a marvelous gift you have! I realize I've been into quilts for only a few years, but I've read dozens of books and magazines and never seen that pattern. From one angle it looks almost like a water (or tea!) goblet. Fascinating! This is a treasure, and I'm so glad you're the kind of woman who will give the quilt proper respect throughout its, and your, life!

Mary said...

I really warms my heart to read your post about your grandmother's handmade quilt. I don't have much from my mom, and nothing from my grandmothers, so I determined to make sure my grandchildren would have heirlooms...I began collecting china and making quilts. I hope they treasure the quilts I've made for them as you do yours, and I hope they use the china teacups...my youngest granddaughter wants them all, and always tell me to let her help me pick out whatever I buy, because she's going to get it when I die! The quilt is beautiful, just beautiful, and so special being made with fabrics that are part of your childhood. Definitely use it...she would want you to.

God bless,
Mary

Michelle said...

I have an antique quilt passed down in my mom's family. I have the same desire to protect it but also want it to be viewed. So every winter around Christmas, it comes out and I get to enjoy it! So much time and love went into those quilts!
I believe I had a bonnet too. We must have been in the same Little House craze phase!

parTea lady said...

What a wonderful quilt and in an unusual pattern. It is a real treasure to have a quilt that was handmade by your Grandmother.

Southern Touch Catering said...

Oh, my that is a wonderful gift. But Steph, use it! What better way to show your love and appreciation to her than to use it. How great a gift.

Tea Time With Melody said...

beautiful quilt. These are the most precious kind. I have been away from blogging and missed alot of posts.

Greenmare said...

it's wonderful!!! and as a quilter, I can tell you, your grandma wants you to use it and enjoy it!