Thursday, June 30, 2016

Reunion Quilts, Revisited

If you've been following our blog since last year, you may remember that I (Teri) shared the story of how quilts are an intrinsic part of our family reunions each year. To read that story, read the post Reunion Quilts.

Alas, I still have not come home with one of the family quilts, but quite a few happy family members did. It is such a joy to see that my family appreciates the love that is put into these quilts. I know that every creation is cherished for the care put into it.


When we first arrive at the pavilion, all of the quilts are placed on tables with a numbered sign-up sheet for each age group. Numbers are drawn to see who will win the door prizes.

About mid-afternoon, after our meal and some visiting, the drawings begin. I love that the three quilts made for the youngest age groups were story-related: Winnie the Pooh was in the baby quilt, and the Peanuts gang and the Grinch were stitched onto the next two quilts. 

This quilt is a special one; it is known as our traveling quilt. It was made in 2002 by all the members of the family who were in attendance at the reunion that year. Each family created a block, and the "family quilting ladies" put it together and quilted it. A rack was donated, and each year, someone wins the honor of having the quilt for a year. It returns the following June and then goes to a new home. I'd love to know the stories of family that this quilt could tell—it certainly is a quilt with history! This year, my dad won it. Doesn't he look pleased?

The moment we all wait for with bated breath is the unveiling of The Quilt. This year's quilt was a stunning design called "Peeking Poppies," with vibrant colors and striking contrast. Here it is, surrounding by its makers: my great-aunts and second (and maybe some third) cousins. They gather every Tuesday afternoon and evening to stitch together. Yes, I'm a bit envious, and I wish I lived closer. How wonderful a tradition they have! The love they share for the art of quilting combined with their love for family is a blessing—both for them and for those of us who receive their gifts.

Isn't it lovely?!

There is always a heart-shaped label on the back, which tells the quilt's story.
Here, this year's quilt is presented to its happy winner. 

My great-aunt brought this to share with us: my great-grandfather's Confirmation Certificate from 1898.
I can see a couple of lovely appliqué design inspirations in this beautiful document!


This sampler was made by my grandmother. How she loved our family reunions, which sometimes fell on her birthday, making them that much more special to her. Though she is now resting in Heaven, I feel her presence each year at our reunion, and I can hear her laughing with delight as each member of the family walks up to pick up a cherished quilt. And the stories in these quilts will live on for generations. What a legacy these women have given to us!

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