Thursday, August 13, 2015

My Grandma Quilt

Several years ago, our local quilt guild held a challenge: we were to make a quilt about something that was an inspiration to us. My grandmother has always been that for me, so I (Teri) instantly knew that my quilt would be about her.

I started by gathering a variety of photographs of her throughout her life. Fabric choices were relatively easy; I had a pile of her old handkerchiefs that I knew I wanted to incorporate, and I had fabric left from the back of my parents' anniversary quilt (See A Learning Journey to Celebrate Fifty Years) that would be perfect to reflect my grandma. The corresponding green and purple for framing the photos were in my stash. I used Printed Treasures to transfer the photos to fabric.

To tell you the story of my grandma, I will take you on a tour of her quilt, block by block.

This is a picture taken of my grandmother as a young mother. She is standing in the backyard of my great grandparents' house in front of their wisteria tree, which was a backdrop for generations of family pictures. 

My grandmother with her four children. My mother, in front, was the youngest. Grandma was a single mother from the time my mom was a baby.

This photo was taken of my grandmother about the time I was born.

A favorite photo of mine: Grandma holding me with my new doll on my third birthday.

One of my fondest memories of spending time with Grandma as a young child was cuddling on her lap and listening to her read. The Little Red Hen was probably my favorite book that she had. When I had my children, I searched for just the right version of the story to buy (the Little Golden Book) so that I could read it to them just as I remembered her reading it to me. When I read the story even now, I can hear her voice in my head saying, "'Then I'll do it myself,' said the Little Ren Hen, 'aaaaand she did.'" 

Grandma always had two things beside her recliner: her Bible and her Upper Room devotional, both of which she read daily.

Grandma, about a year or two before she died. 

Two of the blocks contain poems that I wrote about Grandma. I shared them at a family reunion one year, bringing back many wonderful memories. One thing I learned about printing text on fabric is to be very careful in choosing your font and text size. What looks wonderful on paper may not work quite so well on fabric. Unfortunately, I didn't see that an exclamation point sort of ran together looking like an l until after I had finished the quilt. So if you choose to try something like this, test your fonts carefully!

A reference to The Little Red Hen

Grandma was an inspiration for all of us!

Grandma always carried a pretty handkerchief. As a child, I remember asking to see which hankie she had. It seemed fitting to use one of her handkerchiefs for the cornerstones of her quilt.

This border fabric was perfect to represent Grandma's source of strength.
I always wished my children could have known my grandmother, but I like to think that her legacy has lived on through the stories we tell about her. I know she lives on in my heart, and now generations to come will know something of her story through this quilt, stitched with so much love for a truly special lady.


  1. This is so wonderful! Your sentiments brought a tear to my eye! Bless you!

    1. Thank you, Gail! Your comment brought a tear to my eye. I appreciate you visiting and reading about my grandmother's story.