A couple of weeks ago, my 91 year old dad moved into a retirement center (where he’s very happy, I want to say), so my siblings and I went through all the family things.
The favorite item that I discovered and got to keep was my mother's diary written in between 1939-1943 when she was 13-18 years old. What a treasure!
(It’s funny to see it there 80 years old with a tablet in the background. I could have cropped it out of the picture, but I kind of liked its symbol of the passing of time.)
I guess it triggered me to think about other keepsakes that I’ve had hidden away.
I am the 20th out of 21 grandchildren and the youngest granddaughter, so we didn't each get lots of things after my grandparent's passed away. Thanks to my Aunt Anita, the youngest of her generation,I ended up with this very special quilt. It has been safely stored in a bag in the back of a closet for… for a long, long time.
I guess I was saving it for… hmmm… for what?
I decided today was the day to find a place to honor it.
I also brought home from Dad’s house, Mom’s quilt rack. I’m sure there’s a proper way to use it. I don’t know what that is, but I figured out something that worked.
My mother, along with her five sisters, mother, and grandmother, made this quilt together about 80 years ago. (No sewing machine, just needles, thread, and busy fingers.)
- I wonder if their personalities show through in the squares that they designed.
- My mom’s, Gladys, is yellow!
- Aunt Audine made hers sideways!
- Their grandmother sewed hers upside down.
- Grandma, put her first and last names.
- Whoever GNT is didn’t seem to finish her block.
- Aunt Anita, the youngest, only made one.
- I wonder if this was a winter project for the evenings.
- I wonder how many hand stitches are in it.
- I wonder how if all of them enjoyed working on it.
- I wonder if they purposefully chose their colors or if they just grabbed whatever was in the rag bag.
- I wonder if there was a reason they put some going the wrong direction, or if they just weren’t paying attention .
- I wonder if they knew they were creating a special family heirloom, or if they just need a new bed covering.
- I wonder if this pattern is still a thing, a pattern that modern quilters use.
The other quilt was one that my mother used my whole life. I believe she got it as a wedding gift from her mother. I think she called it a double wedding ring quilt. I know she was always proud of it, but that never stopped her from using it.
- How many tiny little scraps are in it?
- Was there a plan for sewing them together, or did they just grab and stitch?
- How long did it take to make from beginning to end?
- Did Grandma know when she began it that it would be for Mom’s wedding gift?
- How many different beds did it cover during its lifetime?
So… today… I walked around the house until I found a place where the quilt rack would fit. I folded and refolded until I found a way to get the two quilts displayed on the rack rather than forgotten in a closet. And… I love that they are no longer safely stored in a bag but out where they can be seen, talked about, and loved.