My Granny Squares

Change of pace needed—this week a post from the me that is ‘Grandmom’.  With winter giving way to spring, days growing perceptibly longer, nights shorter, and the sun shining unexpectedly to lure me out of doors, I suddenly realized that with all the reading and writing that fills my evening I hadn’t made time to finish up my last winter’s project—a scrap quilt.   Summer is for gardening and sailing and all things outside.  Winter for the cozy things—the curling up with books, the knitting, and the new found craft of quilt-making. 

For years I have saved scrap fabric.  Once-upon-a-time homemakers sewed clothes for their children and it was actually cost-effective, (besides being cute!) to see all the girls in matching dresses, or the toddler in home-made overalls.  Wedding dresses were made by mom and in our case the wedding suit by Jim’s mom.  All that by way of saying, I used to sew clothes and what a horde of scraps I had accumulated always intending one day to make a quilt of them… A fledgling effort years ago to piece a complicated square out of random fabric types was near disaster.  So then I thought, well, maybe a fabric ‘book’ will do, one that I can hold on my lap while I sit in my granny rocker leafing through it and telling all the stories the colors and textures evoke…

Well, now I’m a ‘granny’ and neither as old nor as frail as the granny I’d envisioned.  I do have a rocking chair, but I tend to have a computer on my lap more often than not when I sit here.  And in the meantime looking over Rachel’s shoulder at 4-H quilting club I learned the basics of putting together a quilt.  So  I reverted to the original idea of a quilt, a lap-size one (to go under the computer on my lap on cold days!)  and all the pieces came out of the closet and eventually found their way into this quilt I’m now binding.  I will spare you the agonizing decision-making process it was to design a quilt worthy of the inclusion of all these ‘antique’ and precious, albeit mismatched, scraps.  It’s a regulated version of crazy, but for better or worse, it’s together and lap-ready.  Now who’s ready to hear the stories it evokes?

quilt 6…of courting days—the summery striped top—the hot summer days in N.Dakota where we walked many miles hand in hand and ended up engaged…The floral curtain fabric jumps us way ahead to our first home—an old mobile home given to us by friends who couldn’t sell it!  We loved it well and somehow squeezed all (then 6) of us in…

quilt3But wait, we’ve missed the wedding gown scrap, juxtaposed with the velvet ‘going away’ jacket, and the dresses of two girls  yet to come…

Then there were the first maternity clothes— I wore that burgundy calico top to death!

A  new set of summery stripes dressed mom and firstborn son in matching tops.  He looked so grown-up in a real shirt…

quilt7bethany1Then there came ‘Nany’ in the recycled dress made from a gaudy old blouse found at the ‘boutique’ for free!

And growing up in the dress that matched my own (and Teddy’s)…
bethany scan

Christmas was the time for new nighties for the girls…
quilt4bgirls in nighties scan
Flannel of course…pictured here with their room curtains, and the bathroom curtain—always flowers!  I remember the day a friend pointed out that I sure seemed to like flowers.  Doesn’t everyone?  I had assumed so until then.  This preference definitely shows in my fabric scraps…

quilt1Here, more dresses and some craft stars and stripes that went into a Christmas quilt ornament.  That was the year I decided to make an ornament for each of the kids every year, so they’d have a set to leave home with… Nice idea.  It happened a few years anyway…Note the teddy fabric, the beginnings of all-things-teddy for our last-born…

quilt10This fabric marked  the beginning of the end of sewing for the girls.  My personal tastes in flowers resulted in a jumper altogether unflattering in full bloom!  It was never completed, leaving me with lots of fabric with which to border my crazy granny quilt!


And here the ‘granny’ sits remembering all that God has done for her and in her and through her… and letting it stoke the fires of her faith and her future hopes. “His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” (Ps.91:4)
And I consider my calling as a ‘granny’, and a mother– to pray for these young ones and the nearly grown ones—“let your work be shown to your servants and your glorious power to their children.  Let the favor of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Ps.91:16,17)

And what more I will be called to be and  do, I do not know, but it will be stitched with God’s mercy and goodness—and bordered all ‘round with flowers of grace!

“The righteous…still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” (Ps.92:14,15)


5 thoughts on “My Granny Squares

  1. A thing of beauty and warmth made from the "scraps" of life as a woman; now an entirety new entity. So that's what it means to be an older woman! I still have your little sampler hanging in my office to remind me of my beautiful friend.

  2. Life has been precious, and even more so in retrospect…

    ( : An older woman: 'a thing of beauty and warmth made from the scraps of life…' what a delightful analogy. Thanks DotK!

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