My parents found a sweet little house and have been making their way through boxes. Their stuff had been in storage for over six months, almost long enough to forget what was packed away. They got rid of a lot before they moved, and they’ve slowly been purging even more. Considering I still have a weekly dream about their old house, I have strong feelings about some of the things they try to get rid of! Luckily, my mom is more than happy to give me anything I want.
One of the things I claimed immediately was my gramma’s old sewing box.
I remember the box sitting next to her favorite chair. She taught me how to sew, and I remember watching her hand drop into the sewing box over and over to grab different things.
The inside held patterns, pins and needles, and all sorts of other assorted sewing goodies. I wish I knew what she’d planned on making with some of the materials inside. I should use those heart appliques on something for Annabel – I know my gramma would have liked that.
My mom also came across many of the quilts my grandmother made. On any given night you’d find her sitting in her rocking chair with whatever quilt she was working on spread out on the bed in front of her. Every single stitch on her quilts was sewn by her hand. Now that I am sewing more myself, I am so blown away by how time-consuming that was for her – but she loved it.
My gram was in a weekly quilting class with all of her buddies. One of their projects was to make a quilt square of themselves. There was a raffle to see who’d win all the finished squares, and my gramma won. This was what she quilted them all into:
I adore the square my gramma made of herself. The hand print is mine – she traced it and incorporated it into the quilt.
But hands down, my absolute favorite quilt is the one she made for me, the Grandmother’s Fan.
I asked her to sew me a bunch of things when I was growing up, but when I asked her when she was going to make a quilt for me, I had noooooo idea how much work it was. She worked on this quilt for years (between other projects), and it shows. Every single piece of every single fan is made with a different floral fabric. Just the time involved in finding all that fabric is mind-blowing!
The details are incredible – she even added my name.
She officially gave it to me at my first Christmas home from college, and it became my most prized possession. The quilt was on my bed in the apartment I shared with Jackie, and then on the guest bed in the condo I shared with Mike. When we needed to turn the guest room into Madeline’s nursery, I asked my mom to keep the quilt safe. I’m so happy to have it again.
The quilt is a little dingy from use (I need to figure out how to clean it), but it’s otherwise in perfect condition. I know my gram would get such a thrill to hear I plan on wrapping her great-grandchildren up in it. It will mean so much to me to have them touch something she touched.
I want to make beautiful heirlooms like this for my children, and if I am lucky, their children, too. I want to make my wonderful grandma proud.