Before Christmas I had the honor of making a quilt for my Grandma. She’s 98 years old and just moved into assisted living. Of course she has always been very frugal and has had the same bedspread on her bed since, well, for as long as I can remember. When my mom and aunts mentioned about getting her a new quilt for her bed I of course was on it! Quilts are such a meaningful gift, they take many hours to make and are filled with love from both the maker and the recipient.
The whole process was so fun. I brought a few books and patterns to show my Grandma and she picked out the Side Braid quilt pattern by my friend Jeni Baker. I was tickled she chose it. We took the measurements from her existing bedspread, it’s a very large quilt for a twin size bed (80″ wide by 100″ tall). She likes it to drape to the floor and cover her pillow, so I adapted Jeni’s pattern. (I should note that the pictures of the quilt are on my own bed, I didn’t feel like I should traumatize my Grandma with my crazy photo antics!) My aunt and I went to my local quilt shop and with a fabric swatch from my Grandma’s couch, we went to work on picking out fabrics. It really was fun and challenging, and I think we hit just the right spot.
When talking with my Grandma, she told me that when she retired (she was the postmaster in her town) she considered a few different hobbies to pursue in her new found free time. She said she thought about quilting, but ultimately decided to pursue Rosemaling. What?? you say. Well, if you’re not familiar with Rosemaling it’s a lovely folk art style of painting originating in Norway. My Grandma is Norwegian and there are quite a few Norwegians living in our area. She had a group of friends who regularly get together to work on their paintings and projects. A couple years ago, one of my cousins put together an art display at a local shop featuring my Grandma’s pieces. I photographed each piece and we put up a little tumblr account. It’s pretty fun seeing my Grandma’s projects on her own site and it also ended up being a good way to share her work with relatives that didn’t live locally. Funny though how she almost picked quilting for her hobby.
The quilt was a labor of love. But it was different in that I couldn’t and didn’t want to stop working on it. I knew that there was a possibility that I had just enough time to make the quilt top and send it off to my friend Christina (Sometimes Crafter) for her amazing quilting and still get it finished in time for Christmas. It wasn’t even an option for me, when we first talked about the quilt, I knew right away that Christina would be the perfect fit to put her artistic touch on the quilt. She beautifully quilted her freehand feathers in an all over pattern. It’s even more gorgeous in real life.
It might seem ironic that I made my Grandma a quilt, usually I suppose it’s the other way around. But I feel really lucky that I could make her this quilt for her bed. It’s something she uses everyday and will keep her snuggly and warm. I felt grateful that she allowed me to make it for her.
Pattern: Side Braid Quilt (Mini Braid) by Jeni Baker, adapted to 80″ x 100″
Quilting: Christina Lane (Sometimes Crafter)
Fabrics: about half are from the Downton Abbey collection
by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics, along with many others
Batting: Quilters Dream Wool Batting
My husband and kids and I had a fun little winter hike to get these outdoor shots. Such a great day to be outside!