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A quilt for Grammie

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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62 Comments

  • Reply
    Laurel
    February 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful gift. I&#39;m sure she&#39;ll love it. :)<br /><br />And I agree — I need to find something for myself to do so I can sit and catch up on Downton Abbey as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Tara
    February 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    It&#39;s beautiful! I actually like the rectangular 9 patches ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Ariane
    February 4, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    What a beautiful quilt for your Nonna. Love it!!!

  • Reply
    Michele
    February 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    She&#39;s going to love it! So pretty!

  • Reply
    Natalya H
    February 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Aaaaw! She&#39;ll love it! Missing my grandma right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Harrysmum
    February 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    What a lovely quilt for Grammie – I&#39;m sure she&#39;ll appreciate not only it&#39;s comfort but the thought you put into making it!<br />I made both my Grandmas quilts last year – they&#39;re 95 and 97 (we go on for ever in our family!) My Mum had to have words with the younger one when she found the quilt folded up because she was &quot;saving it for best&quot;!!

  • Reply
    bethanndodd
    February 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    So lovely and even more special. No doubt she will love it and think of you every time she sees it/uses it. I know what you mean about not waiting…I finally made both of my Grandmothers a quilt but I didn&#39;t get serious about it until after both my Grandfathers passed away. Hope your Saturday is sunny (it&#39;s kinda dreary here). Smiles~Beth

  • Reply
    LynCC
    February 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    This is a perfect quilt for a grandmother. She is sure to love it.

  • Reply
    serendipity
    February 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    That quilt is so beautiful. I love the soft, vintage looking fabrics. I&#39;m sure it will be treasured.

  • Reply
    Lara
    February 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Beautiful quilt! I am sure it will be very much loved and I love the stories behind this one. Including the blocks which I think look fabulous. Hope it arrives safely at it&#39;s destination.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    February 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    It is beautiful, and I know she will love it. My husband&#39;s grandmother was the quilter of the family, and she was my inspiration to start quilting. I set about making my third quilt for her, but she passed before I could finish it. So I am very happy yours will be received and appreciated.

  • Reply
    sonia
    February 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Such a beautiful quilt, and so emotive… She&#39;ll love it.

  • Reply
    Aunt Spicy
    February 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    totally, totally love nana! what a rock star! and that quilt is perfect for her, rectangles and all!

  • Reply
    Richard Healey
    February 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    That is a wonderful gift. I too want to make a quilt for all those I love. <br /><br /><a href="http://richardquilts.blogspot.com&quot; rel="nofollow">http://richardquilts.blogspot.com</a&gt;

  • Reply
    notes of sincerity
    February 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    What a sweet quilt for your dear nonna. :0)

  • Reply
    luciethehappyquilter
    February 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing Grammie&#39;s quilt story. My daughter calls my mother Grammie so I can indentify with this story. Love the quilt. I&#39;m sure it will be treasured.

  • Reply
    Mary
    February 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I never made a quilt for my grandma. She made quilts, Crocheted bookmarks and Dresses for me and my children and it never occurred to me to make her one. She&#39;s been gone for a while now. She lived to be 97. What a great way to honor her birthday! Will you get to deliver it personally or send it to her?

  • Reply
    amandajean
    February 4, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    oh, Amy! it&#39;s a wonderful quilt and a beautiful story to go with it. i made a quilt for my grandma a few years ago and she absolutely loved it (we all kinda wondered if she would) and i&#39;m so glad that i gave it to her when i did. it&#39;s fun to bless your grandma with a quilt.<br /><br />p.s. so glad that you liked the quilt label tutorial! (i need to get better at labeling my quilts,

  • Reply
    Rosa
    February 4, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    What a beautiful gift.She`ll be very glad!

  • Reply
    Fru Larsen
    February 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Very beautiful, I Think she Will be so happy!

  • Reply
    Leanne
    February 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Such a beautiful story to go with a beautiful quilt. You did a great job Amy.

  • Reply
    Anne
    February 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    So pretty &amp; very special.

  • Reply
    QuiltinMama
    February 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I really like the rectangular nine patches, Amy…they&#39;re a nice change from the garden-variety square and I&#39;m sure Nonna loves it.

  • Reply
    Sewing In CT
    February 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I didn&#39;t notice that the 9 patches weren&#39;t square til you mentioned it but it doesn&#39;t matter because the colors are so lovely. I&#39;m sure Nonna will treasure it! Toni

  • Reply
    Fiona
    February 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    What a beautiful quilt! I think the 9 patches look great rectangular. You have a lucky Nonna

  • Reply
    strandkorbtraum
    February 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    ohhh I can relate to the joy of watching Downton Abbey .. sadly I&#39;m already through with it. Any reccomendations? <br />And I really liked the un-square nine blocks, if you hadn&#39;t said anything Iwoudl have taken it to be purpose.

  • Reply
    Leah
    February 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Beautiful Quilt. For a beautiful lady… <br /><br />I understand how important Grandmother&#39;s are (and not waiting, either)… one passed away in November, and my other one isn&#39;t doing well.

  • Reply
    The Cottage Mama
    February 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Wow, SO beautiful, Amy! And gorgeous pictures. She&#39;s going to love it!!<br /><br />Lindsay

  • Reply
    Becky
    February 4, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    The quilt turned out really great and I&#39;m sure it will be well-loved. It really is important to stay close to the grandparents because they slip away from us way too soon.

  • Reply
    Claire Jain
    February 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    What a beautiful quilt and a great gift. The story of how you ended up with those blocks is pretty hilarious. I&#39;m glad those blocks found a home in such a beautiful quilt. I spent the last day and a half binding two baby quilts. I think I&#39;m ready to do some piecing again!

  • Reply
    Cutie and Company Quilts
    February 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I love your quilt for Nonna and the story behind her quilt is very sweet. Quilts gifted are the best!

  • Reply
    audrey
    February 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    gorgeous quilt! i&#39;m in love.:)

  • Reply
    Jan
    February 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    What a sweet quilt! I&#39;m sure your Grandma will love it. My mom is 89, and I know she would. I like the rectangles – something different.

  • Reply
    mjb
    February 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    What a great gift! Absolutely beautiful:)

  • Reply
    Nicole
    February 4, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Happy Birthday to Grammie! What a special gift to her. I&#39;m sure she will love it. Thanks for reminding me of the importance of labeling quilts. That&#39;s something I need to make more of a priority.

  • Reply
    true2beeme
    February 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    I love this quilt…just gorgeous and looks so comfy, and love the story behind it and who it is going to…hope she enjoys it!

  • Reply
    Betty Lou
    February 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    This is the perfect quilt for your grandmother. There is an urgency to life no matter what the age, we never know.

  • Reply
    Betty Lou
    February 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    This is the perfect quilt for your grandmother. There is an urgency to life no matter what the age, we never know.

  • Reply
    Lexi
    February 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Wow I actually love the patches as rectangles. Thanks for the great idea!

  • Reply
    Linda
    February 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I do love the quilt. I guess those are really my colors. I like your new colorful quilt, too. They really both have their place in my heart! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    lifeinredshoes
    February 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    What a heartfelt gift. And time has taught me, never miss a chance to say or show…I love you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    diane
    February 4, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Amy, you&#39;re so smart ! Ha, get it. But this is a lovely quilt even if my joke is bad. Thanks for sharing Nonna&#39;s quilt story.

  • Reply
    Katie Doggart
    February 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Amy<br /><br />I too was planning on making my Nana a quilt for her 91st birthday last June. (I have just recently started quilting – probably less than a year since I made my first quilt). Unfortunatly she passed away suddenly last March. I know that she would have loved anything made by me, but also loved the fact that I have been sewing/quilting. <br /><br />I am glad that you were able to

  • Reply
    Gmama Jane
    February 4, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Living life without regrets is true freedom. Don&#39;t wait on telling others you care and/or doing acts of kindness. I feel like the real winner when I follow through with my own advice. Blessings to your Nonna<br />Gmama Jane

  • Reply
    madebymum
    February 5, 2012 at 2:08 am

    what a beautiful quilt and story.

  • Reply
    Michele
    February 5, 2012 at 6:02 am

    What a beautiful post to go with a beautiful quilt. And I am very glad that you are committing to labeling every quilt now. Preserving that information is so important.

  • Reply
    Peter
    February 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

    A beautiful quilt for you&#39;re grandmother. Our grandmothers have been gone for a few years now, but our mothers are both in their 80&#39;s, and they are in nursing homes within 10 miles of our home. We see them several times a week, one has Alzheimers and the other has dementia. The one with dementia my wife&#39;s mother quilted faithfully until about 5 years ago when she suddenly couldn&#39;t

  • Reply
    Ric Rac and Polka Dots
    February 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Happy birthday Grammie! God bless. And what a wonderful gift, you are so sweet!<br />Julie

  • Reply
    Kristy Sioux
    February 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Beautiful quilt!

  • Reply
    2ne
    February 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    A butifull quilt you have made for her ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Katy Cameron
    February 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Gotta love the go getting 87 year old grans! My 87 year old gran just got an iPad the other day, her very first computer…

  • Reply
    Sandra (Cherry Heart)
    February 5, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    It&#39;s a beautiful quilt, I&#39;m sure Nanna will love it. Well done you on getting it together :)<br /><br />S x

  • Reply
    Lucy @ Charm About You
    February 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Pretty quilt! I&#39;m sure she&#39;ll love it. Great tip for labels too.<br />Grandmas are the best, I just spent the weekend with mine, she&#39;s 93 and we had a great time. I think she had me eating cake 2 minutes after I stepped in the door!

  • Reply
    Patty
    February 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Pretty quilt, I&#39;m sure your Grammie will cherish it.

  • Reply
    Shop Girl
    February 5, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Amy, have to laugh at how in sync we are at times. Just finished giving a lesson on Family History, watched Downton Abby while binding a quilt (luv sunday @ 8pm.)&amp; made a goal this year to gift more quilts to those important people in my life. Your awesome, love the quilt &amp; so will Nonna! Take care my friend. You are a jewel.

  • Reply
    Leanne
    February 5, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    It is a beautiful quilt and a great story. It is so nice that you are able to send the quilt to her, I am certain she will love it.

  • Reply
    Thimbleanna
    February 6, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Wow – it&#39;s beautiful Amy. I love the pretty, soft colors. And the elongated nine-patches are a very happy accident!!!

  • Reply
    Laurel
    February 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Love it Amy. Love your Italian heritage too! You lucky girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    amy
    February 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    i love that quilt! I didn&#39;t notice the rectangular blocks at all until you told the story and that&#39;s kinda neat, too, but I bet it was a major &quot;arrgh moment&quot; at the time. i really love the binding. You do such great work. xo amy

  • Reply
    leigh
    February 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I love it Amy! And I don&#39;t usually love 9 patches. I think I love that little corner piece in the sashing and also that they&#39;re rectangular. Funny – your story.

  • Reply
    thegoose
    February 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Such a sweet post. The quilt is beautiful and I am sure she will cherish it.

  • Reply
    Gnomemade
    February 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Amy – I&#39;ve been a blog reader (or perhaps &quot;lurker&quot; is the better word) for a while now and have continually been impressed and inspired by your work. But, as I read this post, I could help but tear up. My grandmother passed away in November and in October I hand delivered a quilt I made for her, so your sentiments struck home. Thank you for sharing your story. And, of course,

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