Great-Grandma’s Fabric

Last weekend, I brought my 9-patch quilt as a gift to a baby shower.  The guest of honor’s water broke right before she left home to attend, so she made a quick appearance on her way to the hospital, but the ladies had a good time showing off their gifts.  One friend, Mary asked me afterward if I would like her mom’s old quilting stuff that she had in her car.  She gave me a box and a bag filled with stuff.  I took it from the car straight to the laundry room and sorted through the musty fabric, and as I was going through it I was moved by what I saw.  Mary’s mom has Alzheimer’s and hasn’t been able to sew since the mid 90s.

I could tell that projects had been planned, some half-started, and some near completion.  Fabrics purchased to go together for a quilt were folded together.  There were several 3-yard pieces that were surely  meant for a brown floral quilt.  This was all so sad, that this woman that I had never met had planned projects that would now never be completed, plans that were now not even remembered.  This woman’s daughter, grand-daughter, and great grand-daughter go to my church, so when I came across this, I thought it must be for one of them:



It was completely quilted by hand with some embroidered flowers.  So precious. There was even a strip of blue fabric in the box that was obviously meant to be binding.  I’ve never turned a quilt into a wall-hanging, but after a bit of work, was able to put the binding on with two loops for hanging.


I definitely need to read up on how to hang a quilt before I try this again.  The top corners will eventually droop if it hangs this way for long.  The recipients seemed genuinely happy to have the gift and it felt good to finish a project that had been lovingly made but never completed.

More on this gift of fabric in a later post.

20 Responses to “Great-Grandma’s Fabric”

  1. 1 kirsten July 25, 2006 at 10:20 am

    that is so great of you to make that for them – it is sad to see all those projects uncompleted, i’m sure. the closeup is so great – what amazingly small even quilting stitches! what a treasure!

  2. 2 capello July 25, 2006 at 10:24 am

    That is a very sweet piece. I love the orange, and those little flowers are amazing.

    From what I’ve read, typcially people make a sleeve that extends accross the back, so the whole piece is supported and weight is distributed evenly.

  3. 3 lera July 25, 2006 at 11:15 am

    that was very nice of you!

    it was nice that they gave you the goody bag, too. can’t wait to see the other pieces later.

  4. 4 Ali July 25, 2006 at 11:22 am

    What a lovely way to thank them for the supplies. I think there is something very humbling about completeing another person’s work. Well done you.

  5. 5 Georgia July 25, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    That is the nicest, most thoughtful thing I have seen in a very long time. You were so kind to do that for them!

  6. 6 Cathy July 25, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    That is so sad, and you are so sweet to appreciate the efforts of a woman no longer able to complete her works. Good job on the hanging!

  7. 7 Cindi July 25, 2006 at 6:08 pm

    That was a most generous thing you did and I am so happy for you. To give is the greatest gift. You are so sweet.

  8. 8 Lyn July 25, 2006 at 8:26 pm

    What a wonderful thing for you to finish something she had intended to do.

  9. 9 lilymarlene July 26, 2006 at 11:21 am

    How lovely of you to feel moved to give them something back that their mother had worked. One day you’ll be rewarded by someone caring for your stuff the same way….!
    I’ve got a Dear Jane quilt that I have started, and am continuously working on, by hand; and know I’ll never finish it…..I often wonder who will finish it when I’m gone!

  10. 10 Monica July 26, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Oh linda that was so nice of you. The real spirit of quilting/patchwork was definitively in your kind endevour. That’s why quilts are so special, they take efforts and thought.

    You’re very kind.

  11. 11 Megan July 26, 2006 at 5:23 pm

    Great idea, and very thoughtful of you. I bet the owner of the supplies would be thrilled they were going to someone who could use them rather than sit in the back of a cupboard somewhere. I know I would be.

  12. 12 kerry July 26, 2006 at 5:42 pm

    Well done, how caring of you to return something to her family, I am sure they will appreciate it and hold it dear to their hearts.
    I usually sew a double piece of fabric into the binding across the top of the quilt, then hand stitch it down to the back to make a pocket for a rode to hang a quilt, then it will always hang straight.
    Looking forward to seeing what else you make from your bag of goodies

  13. 13 kathy July 27, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Beautiful post and wall hanging. Here’s a link to how I made my quilt sleeve: I’m sure the family will enjoy this gift, wonderful idea.

  14. 14 Lori July 28, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    I love the fabric you were given. I love that it has a story to tell. That’s why I love the thrift shop. I found 3 boxes of precut quilt squares-all kinds of fabrics-there. I bought them all. I love that someone put so much effort into them-they were all hand cut-I can see the squares traced on the back of some.

  15. 15 quenna July 29, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Nice post, I love the stories behind fabrics and projects. That precious quilt was started and finished with love!

  16. 16 Mom July 29, 2006 at 3:34 pm

    Great job. The pattern reminds me of the quilt I made for Beth, although that was totally by machine. Glad you could complete the project and return it to them as a keepsake. Your generosity doesn’t surprise me at all. Just one of the many reasons we love you and are glad you are part of the family.

  17. 17 kirsty July 30, 2006 at 3:57 am

    Thank goodness she gave those precious things to you! Imagine if it had all fallen into the Wrong Hands. Makes me wonder which of her grandchildren/great-grandchildren may become quilters… I am so pleased that you are honouring the quilts that were in her heart.

  18. 18 Susan July 30, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    What a thoughtful and generous gift you gave back.
    I can imagine why the recipient was touched, I’m touched and it’s not even for me.

  19. 19 Kimberly August 1, 2006 at 1:55 am

    That just makes me sooo sad. I can stand the thought of Alzheimers, it makes me sooo sad. That was so sweet of you to sew it up and give it to them. Big hug!!!

  20. 20 rebecca August 18, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    oh wow! you are incredible —- a gift to be treasured

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Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It’s what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 14, 15, and 16), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and pattern designer.  Oh – and I also like taking pictures.

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