Grandma’s handmade quilts have love in every stitch. Those days with Grandma are long gone but not her love, her patience, and her commitment to hard work. Those parts of my Grandmother will be with me each day in her quilts.
As a young girl, I sat with her hour by hour, watching and learning to see her move the treadle machine rhythmically back and forth as the patches flew in the steady stream connecting one to another. I learned this great method of chaining, as I cut them apart and stacked them for the next round of stitching. In those handmade quilts patches, I could see my old blouse or my sister’s worn dress now cut up and colorfully placed into the next quilt block. Those hours flew by as the quilt went from single squares and triangles to a completed handmade quilt.
Grandma had an old quilting frame made for her by my Grandfather. Two saw horses and pine wood 2 x 2 wooden cross beams. Using thumb tacks, I learned from the “Master” to put three layers together to form a handmade quilt, based it in place, and square it properly on that wooden quilting frame. Every handquilting stitch placed into her designs was even and small. I was given many opportunities to learn to handquilt, but I bet Grandma took out those “big stitches” when my back was turned!
As a quilter today, enjoy your craft. As a quilter today, pass that pleasure on to the next generation, both in the beauty of your work, and take time to show the youth of today the joy and love that we already know in our craft.
Time to quilt.