Grandma D's quilts

My grandma is a life-long quilter. For most of her nearly nine decades, Grandma has been churning out warmth for her family.

Some of my most prized possessions are Grandma Quilts. We have three baby-sized ones, a worn out double she made for me when I was a teen (which, over time has been demoted to a dog blanket), and the beautiful wedding quilt she had to rush to completion when Erin and I shocked her with our short engagement.

Her mum taught her how. Grandma once told me she and her brothers and sisters had to crawl under her mum's quilting rack in order to get to the stairs in their little farm house.

Since my grandpa died, she's quilted with a group of women who meet a few times a week in an old school/community centre. A few years back, the stitches of one of the group's older members started to become inconsistent enough to become a problem. That day, Grandma gave a fateful job to one of the other women.

"When that happens to me, let me know."

Grandma got that call a few weeks ago. I don't think she's been back since. She could still go and knit or even just have tea, but Grandma doesn't want to. It's always been 'work', and if she can't work, she doesn't feel she should be there.

Tonight, I'll wrap one of Grandma's finest efforts, a beautiful green and yellow nine-block baby quilt, around Jane as I take her up to bed. The others I may put into retirement along with their maker. At least until Henry, Jane and baby X can wrap their own kids in them.


Anonymous said...


You know I've been reading your blog a lot lately. You also know that I've been in one of those "john-is-really-nostalgic-for-his-family" kind of moods lately. This story made my week. It makes me want to make a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings (along with a plate of white bread).

Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

I was there overnite recently. Usually I have to get up early and be on the road so she can get to "work" on Monday morning. But this morning she was sleeping in.

I expect most of us thought it would be really, really sad if she had to give this up, but she was very chipper.

She was up early and then went back to sleep, she reported. It's nice to be "retired" and get to sleep in on Monday morning!

No kidding! that's what she said and was absolutely happy about it. She was going over for the potluck lunch on the last Monday of the month.

Don't be too sad for her. She's finding things to do -- now that she's retired from the quilt factory.

(But I'm glad you're going to save some of her quilts for the next generation)
Auntie M

Unknown said...

That's good news. Re-reading this, I was a bit CanLit about it. Jeesh.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your story, Dave - beautiful CanLit for any ol' reader out there and a bit heart-wrenching for anyone who can put a real face to "D"! I was feeling guilty, thinking back to our chat on her 88th birthday last week, that I didn't happen to ask anything about the Friendship Club or quilting in general - so your post made me catch my breath. Yours, Marion, means I can let it out again :) Great to chat with you all here! Auntie Ruth Anne

Unknown said...

All of you are guilty of making a pregnant woman cry - for shame!