Quilting Is In The Blood

The past couple of years my parents have been on a real organizing kick. They’ve invited me and my siblings over at different times to go through the garage and the closets so that we can take what is ours and donate or throw away anything we no longer need or want.

That’s how my son came to have so many Nerf guns (thanks Uncle Mike).

There hasn’t been too many of my own items but during my last visit I did find a quilt I forgot I had.

It was made for me by my great grandma, Grandma Emily. She was a tall, loud, imposing woman who only remembered the dirty words in Portuguese and liked to greet you at the door without her teeth in. This is how I remember her in her later days.

When we were younger, we would go away with my Grandma and Grandpa to visit my great-grandparents in Yucaipa, what I remember as a flat, dry desert. My Grandpa Joe said very little and I remember him as a stern, quiet man that sat and watched a lot of TV. My Grandma Emily, on the other hand, she was always making something. Bread, jam, pies, quilts or something knitted.

I think she hand made my baptismal outfit that I have stored away in a hope chest.

The quilt I found is a small crib sized log cabin quilt made of browns and yellows, very reminiscent of the times. It was a quilt I always used in my tent and fort making and I knew it was mine. I don’t remember receiving it or if it was for a christmas or birthday.

I was told, as I got older, that it was once bigger but there was a house fire. The house burned down and this quilt along with a family Bible with a log of births and deaths for generations, survived the fire mostly intact.

That little burn mark there on the back is a left over singe mark from that devastating fire.

I hadn’t seen the quilt in years and after finding it and washing it, I took some time to look it over with my quilters eyes for the first time. That’s when I realized the perfection of the handmade and HAND STITCHED quilt!

My Grandma Emily was a quilting Bad-Ass!

I mean look at that square! The colors are dated but so beautiful together. It really reminds me fondly of my childhood in a very 80’s home.

 The binding is secured with an cross stitch while the rest looks all hand stitches in perfect little lines.

I’m very impressed with the longevity of this quilt. I’m almost 35 and this was made when I was very little so that puts it over 30 years old. Other than a small rip in the fabric no more than 2 inches long (and easily fixed) it’s held up amazingly well.

I’m so happy to have this blanket to remember where my family came from. We are a family of crafters who take pride in the things we make. My dad crochets and makes delicate lace doilies. My mom hand quilts and knits beautiful projects that look professional. Before our generations my grandmothers made their own clothing and knitted socks. Their stories are still alive with them when they share with us.

And before even them, my great grandmother quilted, baked, jarred, and knitted with a perfection that astounds me. I never got to quilt with her due to her death years ago and I regret that I didn’t realize what I had when she was here. I wish I had a chance to learn with her but I’m glad I get to carry on her legacy.

Fresh Poppy Design

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