Monday, September 25, 2006

Grandma's Quilt

At some point when I was very small, perhaps shortly after my birth, (1965-ish), my grandmother made me this quilt:

It was on my bed for probably the first five or six years of my life, but for whatever reason, probably just before we moved to Richmond, at some point my mother folded it up and put it in the attic, where it lived for the next 25-30 years. Of course, I quickly forgot all about it. Within the last ten years or so, my parents cleared some things out of their attic and gave this quilt back to me.

I don't display it or have it on my bed because it's somewhat fragile, and the cats and cat hair would quickly destroy it. I wish I had a larger house with spare bedrooms -- if that were the case, I'd definitely have this on a bed, or at least hanging on a display wall. So, for now, it will stay in its protective bag on the top shelf of my closet for awhile longer. I recently brought it out to have the loose appliques repaired by someone in town. And handling it again has brought back sweet memories of Grandma.

And so, in honor of my Grandma who would be 106 if she were still alive, I've decided to display here all twelve panels of my Grandma's Sunbonnet Sue quilt. Here they are in order of left-to-right, top-to-bottom, (click on image to make larger):

Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Panel 4

Panel 5

Panel 6

Panel 7

Panel 8

Panel 9

Panel 10

Panel 11

Panel 12

Coincidentally, Robin F. has a very similar quilt, made for her by her grandmother. You can see her cat Ace resting on it here, (blog post here). And some of her recent fiber acquisitions posing on it here, (blog post here). Now I'm wondering -- did every girl of my generation have a grandmother who made them this quilt? I'm guessing it was a readily available pattern. I wonder about the age of those fabrics -- did Grandma buy them the year I was born, or were they pulled from her stash of many years? Perhaps our knitting group's quilt experts (Sheddy? Issy? Robin C.?) can answer that question for me.

I was just going to post one picture of my favorite panel, but I couldn't pick a favorite, so I posted them all -- hope you enjoy. At least this way, Grandma's quilt will live on, for as long as there is an internet.

What's your favorite panel?


Courtney said...

My great aunt was the quilt maker. I have at least two around here somewhere. I like panel 8 the best.

LaurieM said...

My favourite panel is #2. It has the most delicate stitching. The feet are crisply defined and the arm looks like there is a little hand there. Cute.

You are fortunate to have such a wonderful memento of your grandmother. I think you did a great thing in putting it on the internet.

M said...

Hmm, I had a Sunbonnet Sue quilt myself, but I don't know where it came from. Hmmmmmmmmm...

Liz said...

I love SUnbonnet Sue! I can't choose a favorite though.

Isobel said...

I hope you are not keeping the quilt a plastic bag on the shelf--a definate no-no!!!! If you have to store it, keep it in a cotton pillow case & take it out & refold it occasionally so it doesn't get permanently creased. Creases weaken the fabric. It is a beautiful Sunbonnet Sue. It would make a lovely display piece. See you at TNK!!

Sangeeta said...

So sweet!

My grannie didn't make me a quilt. But she made really good dahl while she was alive....

jane said...

I love the whole quilt and the fact that you have such a sweet reminder of your grandmother! See you tomorrow, Jane

Robin said...

Aren't we lucky! Your's is in such good shape and BEAUTIFUL! I'm so glad you posted pictures...there's no way I could pick a favorite panel.
My quilt has been used all of it's 40+ years, granny didn't believe in having one if you didn't use it but I do wish that it looked as good as yours! I believe all the fabrics from mine came from her stash...a couple of the fabrics I recognize one as being from an apron she wore on Sundays and another from one of her dresses.

Krista said...

I'll have to go with 12 being my favorite! What an incredible quilt. I have my mom's handknitted baby blanket, but knitted by who no one knows! It's in my closet as well.