24 September 2008

Gifts from Grandma

This past weekend my 90 year old grandma came up to visit my sister and I and she brought two quilts with her. This one is a sampler quilt she made for me. (She never has gotten away from the idea that girls should have quilts in pastels. I think every quilt I've got from her has pastel sashing and borders. My sister always gets the reds, but only because my sister is willing to say that she wants something other than pink and I can't be anything but grateful that she'll make anything for me at all - so much work goes into it, how can I tell her to make something in a bold blue or a charcoal or something stronger anyway than Easter pastels?)

A lot of the colours and patterns aren't things I could imagine doing myself, but they're so very much what my grandma does and has always done. Even though I'm a little bit frightened of Sunbonnet Sue (Has anyone done a sort of... Brothers Grimm version of Sunbonnet Sue, with wolves peeking out of the bonnets and bloody axes dripping behind the sweetly-dressed girls' backs?) this is so much a product of my grandma's sort of quilting style, the time she came from and using up all the scraps and all those sorts of things, that I can't help but love it and find it amazing and so much more special than something I could bang out in a weekend and have look perfectly polished.

This is the quilt she brought for my sister - all done in redwork, which looks so amazing. She used to do a bit of blackwork and we've got some of that downstairs in our house, but it's quite beautiful to see it done in colour and made into a quilt, rather than just a framed piece of embroidery.

Rumour has it that she's working on another quilt each for my sister and I. I can't quite imagine how she does all this, when she's almost completely blind in one eye - it's all hand sewn and then hand quilted in her chilly basement on her homemade frame. (My grandpa made her a frame out of saw horses, c-clamps, and two by fours.) She's been making quilts for all the grandkids this last little while. I wish I'd asked to see what she'd made for my BC cousins, but perhaps those ones aren't finished yet.

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