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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A quilt from Diary of a Quilter

Another obvious intro for you today! :)  Amy from Diary of a Quilter is sharing a quilt that she made for her husband's grandmother.  Great story and great quilt!  Amy is an excellent quilter and one of the nicest people ever.  She is seriously so sweet, we love her! :)  Make sure to stop by and see her many fabulous tutorials (quilts and more!) and stop by her shop for some one-of-a-kind patterns.  Thanks Amy!!
This weekend my husband's grandmother turns 87! When I looked up how old she would turn this year I was shocked by the number. For as long as I've known her (14 years) she has been such a goer and doer. How on earth did she get to be 87?  We visited 'Grammie' this past summer in New Hampshire and Maine.  It was the first time we'd seen her in a few years and it was bittersweet to see her in decline for the first time since I've known her. So we (and by 'we', I guess I mean, 'I') decided to make her a quilt. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. 

Adding to the feeling of urgency, we had planned to visit my husband's other grandmother while on the same trip this summer and she suddenly passed away 2 weeks before we came. Sadly, she had been suffering from dementia for years and probably didn't remember us, but we would have liked our kids to see her one more time so that they could remember her. I also feel bad that I never made something similar for Nana Jean. That experience was a good reminder not to wait when Grandmas are concerned. Because you never know. So I feel relieved that this quilt is on it's way. 
I made the label using AmandaJean's tutorial. It was SO ridiculously easy. I am finally committed to doing this for every quilt. In the past I have been terrible - I never do it. Honestly.  I am finally getting my act together. 
Grammie decided when she became a great-grandma that she wanted to be called Nonna.  Both her parents and her husband's parents were Italian immigrants to the United States in the early 20th Century. So even though she grew up in Maine, her family was very proudly Italian.  (See? You can tell by the tomato harvest.) I'm glad she has passed that heritage on to her great-grandchildren and glad that they will always remember their Nonna.

This quilt has a good backstory.  See how the 9-patch blocks are rectangular? Well, that wasn't on purpose.  These blocks were part of a kit we sold at American Quilting. One afternoon I was working alone and a lady who'd purchased the kit called to ask for help and I (really helpfully) gave her the wrong measurements. As a result, her blocks ended up as rectangle instead of square nine-patches.  So I remade all 80 blocks for her. And in return I've had these rectangular blocks hiding in my fabric mess collection for the past 7 years or so.  
I came across the blocks again this summer, right before our trip and halfway thought of trying to pound a quilt together in a couple of days while trying to get ready for the trip itself. Then I came to my senses and decided to take my time and put it together for her birthday.  Good decision.  I pulled all the fabrics from the stash and was happy to use some patiently-waiting fabrics that have been sitting around for a long time, and finally give them a good home.

Two quilts finished in the past two weeks - one modern and one that's more traditional. It's been good to have quilts to bind recently so that I have a good excuse to just sit still and watch Downton Abbey. :)



Gosia @ Quilts My Way said...

Lovely!!! I love that simple design.

Josie McRazie said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! sometimes the 'simple' ones are the most amazing!! I love it!

Terry@ a quilting blog said...

What a beautiful quilt...I'm sure she'll love it!!! TFS

Cherie said...

Amazing quilt! Great to know you can make something so effective with a simple block =D

Kelli Fannin Quilts said...

I love your quilt for Nonna, and the story behind it. :o) Beautiful. xo

Cynthia@wabisabiquilts said...

This is a beautiful quilt, so classic and soft. The fact that the blocks aren't square is just charming... And the colors match the colors in the photograph of Nonna!

Patricia Lessell said...

Amazing quilt and such a lovely story too. Thanks a lot.

Lynne said...

I agree, we should never wait. I was going to make something special for my mum's 80th birthday in 2014 but decided to do it now instead! She is losing her memory and I want her to enjoy it now while she still can.