Saturday, July 23, 2011


Photohunt: Patch


I am posting this photo and story again because I love telling it. It gives me warm fuzzy feeling of my grandma.

We didn't live with my maternal Grandma, she came to visit frequently and to help Mum when she gave birth to my younger siblings. She came to cook for Mum's confinement month.

Grandma made one patchwork quilt for each of her three daughters. As a kid, my immediate younger sister Margaret and I had fun looking for her Chinese stars. Her stars were very unusual. It has 21 pieces of tiny squares and triangles cleverly stitched together. She didn't make many stars as it was very difficult to make.

In 1975, my nephew Wayne was born. Grandma came to visit. Sister Elizabeth requested her to make a patchwork for her first great grand son. Grandma was hesitant. Her heart wanted to make this, but her head told her that she was in her 80s, it would be impossible to make one as she was just visiting.

I told her, " I will help you."

So we did, grandma and grand daughter pair. She did the cutting and supervision, and I went on my mum's old manual Singer machine.

"Not so fast, Not so fast"

But I went went ziz, ziz, ziz, ziz as I pedaled along. She admonished my 'fast hand, fast leg'. I committed myself to help her, I didn't have 6 months to help her. Times I made a mistake, she wanted me to unpick it.

I said," No way, it is only for a baby."

We finished the quilt in a matter of days. I blackmailed Wayne, because he is the only great grand child that Grandma made a quilt for.

Despite the hectic time, I learn an invaluable skill. I could make a Chinese patchwork quilt. At that time, I vowed that I will never make another one, too old fashion. Now, I am glad, because I am probably the only grand daughter of hers who has inherited her skill.

Fast forward to 1990, I saw my good friend Owlyn Dickson's light blue quilt on her bed. It was so beautiful, I am reminded of my grandma's quilts. I came home, and made a quilt for D. I made nine Chinese stars, and the rest, I basically used squares. I made this queen size Chinese quilt in 3 days over the weekend. I didn't have much sleep. This time ziz, ziz, ziz, ziz on my electric Janome machine was reminiscent of the time with grandma.

The water engineer was a gem, he babysat D 5, and G 2. He took the girls shopping at Farmers for D to choose a backing for her quilt. She chose a lemon colour and I asked her why she didn't choose a pink.

The reason why I sewed frantically was I had to vacate my sewing room. Our friend J was coming to stay with us. He was our very good friend, and was an Engineering post graduate student with the water engineer at Auckland University.

D still has that quilt. I told her not to use it. It is unlikely that I will ever make another one. (Who knows, may be when I become a grandma, I may do it.) She wanted to frame it, I told her it was too big, not until she was successful in her career and has her own big house.

***This is the quilt I made for D, you have to look carefully for the stars. You will understand when my sister Margaret and I had fun looking for them.***


MadSnapper said...

it is really pretty. my grandmother had a sewing machine that we had to peddle, she used to let me peddle it but not sew on it. you did a great job on this, hope you make another one some day
butterflies like red and yellow and purple flowers and we have lots of those, so they come to sip from them.

Scrappy Grams said...

exquisitely beautiful quilt, and lovely, heartwarming story

George said...

This is a great story to go along with the beautiful quilt.

Rune Eide said...

Norway is a bit of patchwork at the moment, but thank you so much for your condolences and kind words. They were highly appreciated.

Clytie said...

What a beautiful and moving story - I love handmade quilts, and this one is a beauty!

Al said...

That is an impressive quilt, and I love the story!

Ginny Hartzler said...

I love this story!! I knew that you have made a quilt with your grandmother, but not all these details. So which quilt is this, is it the one you made? So pretty! She can hang it without a frame! We do this here all the time, and have two hanging in our church. You just use a wooden dowel and put it on that, then hang it.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Ann, That's incredible. I have one of my Mom's quilts and cherish. I never learned to sew or quilt (wasn't interested when I was young)--but I love quilts and do have several (many made by my friend, Cathy).

I hope you do make more, especially if you have grandchildren someday. You can follow the tradition your Grandma started... NEAT!

rainfield61 said...

This in an interesting "grandma" story.