Quilting has done it again. Because of quilting, I have another wonderful, sweet memory to tuck away and keep in my heart.
I attended a quilt show yesterday with my mother and grandmother. We were invited by Mom's first cousin Marilyn, who is a quilter and an active member in the guild in her area. So already, we have 3 generations of the family involved from 2 branches of that family.
Now I have to say, that getting my 96-year-old Grandma to agree to go somewhere is no small task! We rarely ask her to go anywhere anymore because she always says no. Besides her Thursday beauty shop appointment, she is content to stay home!
I asked her on Friday evening to go with us on Saturday afternoon. We have learned that we can't ask too far in advance, because then she will have too much time to think of a reason why she can't or won't go. And we have also learned that we have to keep trips short. The ride to Peebles is about a 30-minute drive south of Hillsboro, and I told her she could dictate how long we stayed.
The last thing I told her was that I had a sneaking suspicion that one of her quilts was going to be in the show.
That got her! :-)
I tell you, I felt like I had returned to my childhood! Mom drove and Grandma sat in front, while I was in the back seat. Driving down the road and listening to them talk about the farms, the people, the landmarks and such along the way was priceless. One doesn't realize that as a child, so I absorbed as much as I could, and asked questions - a lot of questions. Grandma loved seeing the countryside, and reminisced about days gone by. Yesterday, while chilly, was sun-filled and the spring leaves are just popping out, so everything had a clean, fresh look.
Quilts??? Oh, yes, we did see some quilts! I will show most of those in my next post. Today, I will just focus on the family stuff.
Here is my spry Grandma Mary, age 96, flanked by my Great Aunt Nina and Great Uncle John. My grandpa, Mike, was Uncle John's oldest brother. These 3 are the only ones remaining in this generation. Grandpa died in 1997, and the two other brothers and their spouses are gone now, too.
Now, to the quilt. Uncle John and Aunt Nina were married in 1949, and Grandma made this quilt and gave it to them for a wedding gift. My cousin Marilyn, their oldest child and only daughter, says it was on their bed for many, many years. In other words, it was used! And there is some wear showing, particularly on the upper border.
The way we saw the quilt was really cool, and a first for me. The guild had scheduled a "Bed Turning" at 2pm. I'd never seen one done before, but I had heard of them. A bed is layered up with a dozen or however many quilts spread across it. A speaker tells a brief story of each quilt, and when finished, 2 volunteers are positioned in such a way as to fold and remove that quilt, so that the next one is seen. Then that story is told and so on with folding, removing, and revealing the next quilt.
When Uncle John and Aunt Nina's quilt was uncovered, Grandma practically squealed with delight when she saw it. "Oh! I see pieces I remember!" All the petals on these flowers were scraps from dresses and skirts that Mom and her 2 sisters would have had. Grandma made all their clothes, and no scraps were ever discarded! That would have been wasteful!
Marilyn had taken the microphone to tell the story of this quilt, and she introduced both her Aunt Mary (my grandmother) and her parents. It was so special. I think Marilyn was thrilled to have Grandma and her parents present for the Bed Turning. It really made for a wonderful event. I have to admit to wiping a tear. Or two.
And that's the way it is with quilting. The special times we remember; the bonds of family; the love of stitching -- so many facets of quilting bring people together. The fabrics are bits of other things. As gifts, they mark significant events. Quilts do indeed have histories and tell stories.
In just an hour we had finished our visit, and were heading back to Hillsboro. The front-seat talk was just as pleasurable on the way home, only this time added in were delightful comments about the quilts and about the family. Grandma thanked us over and over for insisting that she attend this event. It not only made a memory for me, but she and Mom were equally pleased with the afternoon's adventure. And, I would guess that Uncle John, Aunt Nina and Marilyn experienced similar delight at how lovely an afternoon we all had, and that they, too, made some memories.
Happy Quilting, Friends!