Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Heirlooms and Memories

"Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love."
                                                                                            ~author unknown

Here's my picture for the day:

This is a White Spider Gerbera that I raised from seed this spring.  My first success doing this.  I had read that gerberas are very difficult to grow from seed and I agree.  Out of the 32 seeds I potted, only six sprouted.  I think I will just go to the nursery and purchase grown plants from now on.

I have been thinking a lot about my paternal grandparents lately.  Don't know why as they have been gone for over 40 years.  They were an unusual couple but you could never find a more loving and caring couple.  Grandma was a full blood Italian and quite a feisty 5'2" fireplug. Grandpa was a full blood Norwegian, 6'4" very stoic, blond (well, gray when I knew him) man.  Both came over from their respective countries as young adults.  I can't imagine how they ever met - I was never told and never thought to ask before my father passed more than 30 years ago - just one of those things you don't think to ask when you are young and figure you have all of the time in the world.  I can imagine, however,  when there were arguments and their native languages came out - neither one would be able to understand the other (and perhaps that was a good thing)! 

I know at one point my Grandpa was a cattle rancher in eastern Montana.  I used to hear stories of the fights between the cattle ranchers and the sheep herders - of course, the cattle ranchers were always right.  My Dad used to tell me that in the winter, it was so cold that sometimes a part of the cows tails would snap off from being frozen.  He would also say that you couldn't run when it was that cold out because it would hurt your lungs.  By the time I knew my grandparents, they had retired and moved to the western side of Montana to a beautiful little logging town known as Thompson Falls.  I haven't been there in many years but remember one of my favorite things about the town was how the railroad ran straight through the middle of town and that you could go to the movies for a dime.

Both of my grandparents were very creative.  Grandma quilted, embroidered, created porcelain items, and was a fantastic cook.  Grandpa was a weaver, a carver, and a latch hook rug maker.  Maybe this is where I get my need to always have my hands busy - quilting, cross stitching, or crocheting.  I remember going into what was supposed to be a one car garage and seeing Grandpa's loom taking up most of the space with some work always in progress.  Unfortunately, I don't remember ever seeing a finished work, nor do I know of any that exist.  Perhaps my aunt inherited some of them but she also passed many years ago and I do not know how to get in touch with my cousins that I haven't seen in 30 years.

I feel very lucky to have inherited three of my Grandma's hand sewn quilts.  Here are pictures of those.

I like the blue sashing used on this one

A close up of the hand stitching and some of the fabrics used.

Grandma's Pinwheel Quilt

A close of the hand stitching.  All the colors have held well as you can tell by the purple in this one

This my favorite one and has inspired me to create one like it soon

A close up of the stitching.  On close inspection, I noticed that many of the hexagons are sort of lopsided.  But that doesn't matter because I know they were all made with love!

All of these quilts have been well handled and have very little staining or fading.  They are all so soft and I could easily cuddle under them when it's cold.  Thank you for taking this stroll with me through some of my family memories.

Here are some giveaways that are happening this week.  Take a tour and maybe enter a few (but not too many so maybe I can win - LOL!)
Check out the $100 Visa gift card giveaway at V and Co. sponsored  by Kellogg's and blogher. 

Another great giveaway for the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter can be found at Freckled Whimsy.  (I really didn't want to tell you about this one but I had to get an extra chance at winning.)

Want another try at and AccuQuilt Go! Cutter?  You can enter another giveaway at a la mode fabric.  (Please don't, I really want to win - LOL!)

Do you like scraps?  Then here's a giveaway for you - Lilac Lane

Cathy over at Wonderous Woven Magic is having a giveaway of a 1/2 yard bundle of the McKenzie Line by Dena Designs for FreeSpirit Fabrics (a total of 3 1/2 yards!)

Megan at Lucy & Norman is having a Blog-aversary giveaway - lots of fat quarters.  Check this one out too.

And, of course, don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY.  There's quite a lot of stuff going to some lucky winner to be announced on Monday!

I have a confession to make.  I gave up on my Hawaiian Quilt.  After three days of trying to do a decent job on my hand applique, I decided to concede.  It beat me.  I'm not a perfectionist but I was not at all pleased with the way it was looking.  I'm normally do not give up on a project, but this was just driving me crazy.  So it is packaged away in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag, perhaps to be taken out at a later date, or to sit and collect dust as my second official UFO.  Time to go back and complete the blue and brown quilt that I started several months ago.  I am actually looking forward to completing this quilt.  Just 9 more squares and two more rows and I can create my quilt sandwich!  By this time next week I should be well on my way into the quilting phase.

Well, that's it for this Wednesday.  I hope you are cooler than we are here.  It's supposed to reach 108' for the high today - YUCK!  I know I'll be staying inside under the A/C.


jan said...

What a rich family history, and priceless treasures from your Grandmother! Thanks for sharing!!

kgsebor2 said...

Linda! Fascinating to read about your family heritage and exciting to see your grandmother's beautiful quilts! Look at those tiny, exquisite, perfect!!stitches!! Thanks for sharing, as you always do, Linda!!

Carin said...

Beautiful quilts its wonderful that you have them. Your flower is lovely too.

Megan Harmeyer said...

Those are great quilts! I'm glad I'll be able to save the quilts you've made for MY grandchildren. Now...Nate's blanket? That's a whole 'nother story. LOL

Debra said...

What beautiful quilts! That really took talent. I have just started quilting and it is driving me pretty bonkers somedays.
I love the beautiful flowers! I had no idea they were so hard to grow!

Lacquer Ware for Tips and Toes said...

Its interesting your thinking of your paternal grandparents as I've been doing the same thing today. I'm sorry to see that you've given up on a quilt and that's not your normal M.O. (or thing to do). Maybe you will set it aside and pick it up in a month or so and it will come to you? Sometimes I do that with projects because the timing is off for me. I hope that makes sense. The other quilts by your grandmother are WONDERFUL, btw. :)

Vickie said...

Your grandmother's quilts are beautiful! I would sure like to hand quilt like that! You didn't click with your Hawaiian quilt now but you will at a later time!

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