Thursday, April 7, 2011


First, let me tell you the reason for this post. Before I had my own blog, my friend showed me this little crafting blog, Sew Much Ado. Ha, ha! Not so little, anyway, she said I should try something she saw on it. I had never read blogs before and I was instantly hooked. I didn't know what following was, but I would check her blog every day and started looking forward to her "Flashback Friday." I liked Flashback Friday so much because for one, now that I'm older I really appreciate history and secondly, I never really knew much of my own family history. So, when Abby stopped doing her Flashback Friday I had to contact her and tell her I missed it. I did and told her about my quilts. She mentioned it would be great for Flashback Friday. Well... I became inspired.

First, I want to show you this little priceless (to me) item I have that was my grandma's. My dad had it for years after my grandma died, but it was my oldest sisters. When my dad died, she said I can have it because I sew and she doesn't. She may take it back some day, but in the mean time I am enjoying it.

Ok, now on to the quilts... If you've been following my blog, you know by now I am not a quilter. I absolutely LOVE them, but as I have mentioned a time or two, I don't like sewing squares, things that become a square or anything to tedious or complicated. I'm just too impatient. It's funny though, I have always admired quilts and looked at many of them with awe.

When I was a kid for as long as I can remember there were hand made blankets all around either sewn by my mom, my grandma on my dad's side or crocheted by her. My grandma was deaf, so we never talked much, but I very much admired her. I remember every Christmas getting a matching crocheted blanket and slippers. I loved getting those and wearing them all the time. Maybe that's where my secret obsession of cozy blankets comes from, those wonderful hand made blankets from my grandma.

Then when I was a bit older I remember going over to my aunt's house (dad's sister) and she had these old quilts on all her beds. I could just sit and stare at them being amazed and wondering how they were put together and how long it must have took. I never remember expressing what I thought, but when my grandma died, I got one of her quilts. It is such an interesting quilt made from scraps. That was what caught my eye right away. I recognized a brown and white checkered pattern from a baby blanket I had. It was so cool. My grandma just took scraps from all the things she made in the past and made this very unique quilt. She was green and crafty. This quilt became my bed spread for a couple years. I think it was made in the 70's.

It's very cool, each bunch of scraps were made into a square, then sewn together as a quilt. I never really thought about "being green" back then. But, that is one of the reasons I loved this quilt so much, something cool to do with the scraps.

You can see how much it is falling apart. I don't really know the best way to fix it. I don't want to add a new back, but I'm afraid just sewing the ripped parts will make it worse.

Fast forward a few years after my grandma died, I was at my aunt's house and she brought this quilt and a bible out to me and said I could have it. She said it was made by my grandma and she thought I should have it along her bible that she wrote in. Oh my goodness! I was SO excited. Both were such an amazing gift. I have now learned from my wonderful readers that this is a Cathedral Window Quilt.

This quilt was hand sewn. Can you imagine? The entire thing hand sewn. I have no idea how old it is or why it was sewn by hand.

I absolutely love the fabrics, I wish my aunt could find an old stash of fabrics from this quilt. Some of my favorites are the green above, the blue and white below,

the paisley below,

and this flower print.

I was never able to talk to my grandma because I never learned sign language, but I always knew she was an amazing woman. She was an extremely hard worker, a strong Christian, and a poor, but giving woman. She loved quilting and crocheting, I love sewing and knitting. I guess I do have some history in my blood that gave me the love of handmade.

My grandma used to sit in-front of the TV that would be blaring, she would have no idea because she couldn't hear and she would just crochet away. She wouldn't even have to look at her work, she would count by feeling. Maybe that's how she made this quilt also, in-front of the blaring TV she couldn't hear. It must have been her way to relax, using her hands to make something so beautiful. Funny, she used her hands all day long to talk also.

I am honored to be over at Sew Much Ado for this post.


  1. Kristen,
    I never knew about your Grandma. Thanks for sharing your personal story about quilting. I too love to sew, quilt, and crochet. It's so fulfilling to start a project and finish it with love. You are a very creative and giving woman, sounds like you are a lot like your Grandma. Hope to one day sew with you again, has always been one of my favorite things to do. Thanks for always inspiring me...

  2. Hi Kristen, i love Sew Much Ado !!! i check it out several times aday!!! ive gotten so much inspiration from there.. see now including your post on there!!! i love this story of your grandma... i was so lucky no parents but 2 of the best grandmas respectfully(Nanny, Granny) lol that you could ever dream of... one on each end of the spectrum... lol from granny i have a quilt her mother made... lovely bright and polyester and cotton... i even remember seeing her dresses that were made from the same material... i have some of them still... having a good cry... they dont make women like that anymore!!! sob... i just wanted to drop by and look at your blog and say a big THANKS!!! heres to all the sewing, knitting, crocheting women out there!!! one day you too will be remembered!! hugs kassi

  3. I have a Cathedral Window quilt made by Grandmother too. I can look at the "panes" and see dresses my cousin and I wore, blouses made by my mom... Such a wonderful set of memories.

  4. Love the sewing machine! My Grandma had one similar. I used to sew on it for hours when I was young. I must have been really young, because she died when I was 12 and she had been in a nursing home for several years. She always told me it would be mine some day, but when the time came, my uncle (mean old jerk!!) wouldnt let me have it. It just set in her old, unoccupied house for many years with the rest of her beautiful stuff till the house and everything in it was ruined. They eventually tore it down and hauled everything to the dump. ANYWAY!!! Here I am , 57 this month, and I still wish I was able to have that old Singer machine. You are a lucky girl!!!Thanks for sharing!

  5. I found you through Sew Much Ado- love your story about your Grandma and that beautiful quilt- what a treasure. Even though so much has changed, it's amazing how much we are like our grandmothers in our love of "fancywork"- that's what my Grandma called it.

  6. I just saw a Cathedral Window quilt for the first time last summer. I fell in love with the style. My mom said it's a lot of effort -- and she wasn't talking about sewing it by hand! That is a wonderful treasure!

  7. What a beautiful quilt! The fact that it's hand sewn makes it even more special. Your grandmother sounds like a special, special lady.

  8. I have a Cathedral Window Quilt hanging on my wall. It was my grandmothers and she made it by hand. When she passed away at 98yrs of age it was given to me. I love it with all my heart and hate to have it tucked away so hung it on the wall going up our staircase to love and admire daily.
    Enjoy yours and your grandmother's gift to you. It is an absolute treasure!