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Grandmother’s Garden Postage Stamp Quilt

quilt med close

Today is my birthday and it’s very cold outside! Can you believe it? We are going to have snow for the next two days..in South Texas! I’ll have to take photos for sure. It will look odd to have snow on our tropical plants around the pond. Tee-hee! (I covered many of my flowering bushes with sheets. Sure don’t want to lose any!) We had my favorite dinner last night, homemade cookies, and champagne. We also watched a movie together as a family. And bless his soul, my son Matthew, a Marine and a Pashtu translator,  called to wish me a Happy Birthday from Afghanistan. What more could a mother ask for?

Donna Quilting2


I couldn’t think of a better way to spend some spare time than to quilt on my grandmother’s mother’s quilt…that makes it ‘great-grandmother’ I believe. I’ve only shown one photo and it was so far away that no one could get a close look at it. I’m determined to finish it this year along with two other major sewing projects…appliquéd antique quilt blocks of my friend, Angela’s, grandmother, and couch cushion covers for my mom. Since today was my birthday and it is so so chilly, I chose to quilt. It’s a lovely way to stay warm  while pursuing my favorite hobby. I’m about half way through hand-quilting it.


another view


If I could work on it more regularly, I’m sure I could get it done in a couple of months but I have to work to squeeze out the extra time to work on it. I love quilting though..because it gives me a chance to sit quietly and just reflect. Time seems to slow down when I work…

If you have never heard of postage stamp quilts, they were supposed to be quilts made with pieces about the size of a stamp.  During the war, women would work on these extremely intricate quilts to help pass the time. Some people called them ‘worry’ quilts. It was hard to worry about your men off on the war front while trying to focus on meticulously hand piecing such tiny pieces!  

appliqued edges

Was my great grandmother worried about something? I don’t know..but she took the traditional postage stamp quilt to a new level. Each postage stamp is made of six tiny triangles to make the little hexagon shaped pieces. I’m afraid I would just lose my mind piecing this thing! The reason it’s called Grandmother’s Garden is that the six hexagons with one in the middle make you think of a flower. By attaching all of the flowers..you get a ‘flower garden’. :o)

With such tiny tiny pieces, it’s no wonder that the quilt came out somewhat crooked. If you know anything about quilting you know that even 1/32 of an inch off could affect such small pieces. So it’s definitely not straight. The top is about the size of the flat surface of a twin size bed.  The fabric is so old and delicate, that I hand appliquéd the edges of the blocks to muslin rather than try to sew them to anything.

see the flower pattern

When finished, this masterpiece quilt will not be straight..but it will be hand-quilted..and by family..which is what my Aunt Joan really wanted. I guess I’m the only quilter left in our family. (Though I thought my sister may have taken up quilting at some time.)  I found this treasure while packing up my Grandma Wood’s home after her hospital stay. She went to stay with my Aunt after a spell with her heart and I closed up her home.

I was awed when I pulled out this treasure!  It’s quite an honor to be quilting a quilt pieced or sewn together by my grandmothers.  It’s wonderful to think that yet another generation of the Wood Family..will be quilting. :o) What about you? Do you own a quilt from a Grandmother? Have you ever thought about taking up the lovely art of quilting?  If you are working on something this week, I’d love to hear about it!

I’m linking this to the Clip Cafe’s WIP linky party. Drop by to see more lovely projects or you can even link your own WIP at her blog. Happy Sewing!  And Linking to Raising Homemakers  Wednesday Link Party.

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PS. Don’t forget to enter my One World, One Heart Giveaway. Click here to leave a comment on the post to enter. 
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13 comments:

Ky said...

Happy Birthday Donna!!! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed your hobby on your special day. Your favourite dinner sounds like fun. Hope you got spoiled rotten too.

Love Ky xx

Babbs said...

Oh Happy Birthday, sounds like a very special day!!! Love the quilt, and just WOW!! I love that all my blog friends quilt, and I love seeing their beautiful work, I really wish I could do that. Yours is beautiful!!!! :)

Needled Mom said...

Happy birthday!!! I can't imagine a better gift than a call from your son.

That quilt is amazing. I am glad you are going to finish it this year.

Stay warm!!

Gloria said...

What a beautiful quilt Donna. Awesome. It's awesome too that it is your birthday. I tried sending you an e-card but it wouldn't work. I'll try again later but in the meantime:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR DONNA!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU....AND MANY MORE......:BIRTHDAY HUGS::

Cindy said...

Happy Birthday Donna!!!

Love the quilt..you are such a treasure. I can't wait to get home and see my gift from you..my hubbie says it is so me..lol

Have a great day!!

Hugs and lovin..Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

Ama x three said...

Happy Birthday, Sweet Niece!! I just read your post and the pictures are just wonderful. The quilt is beautiful! I am so excited. You forgot to mention that you had to finish the top part before you could even begin the quilting. That was quite a story in itself! I only wish we could have gotten the full story before Grandma died to know if her mother started it or just how it came to be. Knowing what their life was like back then, I can see why GGM never had time to finish it. I also think that Grandma and Aunt Mary were the only ones who did any quilting after they were grown. I am pretty sure they helped as young girls since they were the two oldest and chose to continue later in life. GGmother had four sons in the service at one point or another, so she had lots to worry about while her boys were 'off to war'. That is something you are experiencing yourself right now with Matthew deployed. I know that she no doubt went thru all your same emotions.

I know you are enjoying your Birthday of quilting. :) As for myself on this icy 'snow day' we are hunkered down here and trying to stay warm. The electric company has started rolling blackouts today to try and keep the power grids up. So many people are stuck at home up here in the Metroplex that usage has skyrocketed. And with so many kids at home doing their electronic thing...the demand for power has has put a strain on things. Plus it is around 8 degrees or so. Brrrrrr...a quilt on my lap would feel wonderful!

Have a blessed day and give our love to your sweet family. Thank you so much for taking on that labor of love. Words cannot express my gratitude.
Love,
Aunt Joan

Floss said...

Happy Birthday! What a wonderful quilt - as a piece of art and as a piece of family heritage. I have some broken up pieces of a 19th century quilt my grandma found. She didn't make it but she rescued it. It was on my mother's bed for years, but before my mum sadly died she passed the battered old quilt to me, and I have used the good pieces for cushions and other crafting. I love having all those memories around me!

Kim Hanauer said...

Sweet Donna,
I absolutely love my teacup and saucer! The sweet vintage hankie matches perfectly! Oh how special I feel to be sharing your personal tea set! I would have loved anything you bought! I`ll post it on my blog tonight! I hope you liked yours and the little gift I made. Happy Birthday!! And many more tocome....
I just adore your quilting, Donna. What a blessing to have found a friend like you!
Have a Blessed Wednesday~
Kim
xxoo

The Clip Cafe said...

WOW that quilt is amazing!!! I hope you had a very happy birthday. Even in chilly weather :-) So nice to hear from your son too :-) Thanks for linking up!

Donna said...

Wow Aunt Joan, I didn't know near as much about Grandma and Great Grandma as you do. Thanks for sharing that part of family history with me. :o)

Thank you EVERYONE for your birthday well wishes.. Tee-hee! If only I could have heard Gloria singing. I would LOVE that!

Kim I'm so glad you got your cup. Because we live so far from the mailboxes all I got was my slip. And I have to wait until tomorrow to pick up the box. Ahh... the joys of rural living. :o)

We are having pizza with Elisabeth, my daughter-in-law (whose birthday is also today) along with Andrew, and the grandchildren. We're going to play games. Their power is out..but not ours so we are having a joint birthday celebration tonight.

Have a great day everyone. I'm glad you all are enjoying the quilt.

xo
Donna

Debby said...

Happy
Birthday Donna. What a difficult looking quilt. I love the pattern.
So sweet that your son was able to call from Afghanistan. My son spent a year there as well. I have things my grandmother made but not a quilt. I do have a quilt that she picked out to buy in Amish Country. Stay warm, I hear it's cold there.

Between you, me and the Fencepost said...

Happy Birthday! You are so right it is almost impossible to think of anything else when you have to seriously focus on a task at hand. When I'm stressed or need a 'time out' I cook or bake. It calms me down and straightens my head out. I have just learned to crochet it feels so good to sit, focus and also create something. Productive and calming at the same time. A reminder to spend less time watching television, surfing the 'net, and more time creating and reading!

ben... Titbelsoeur... mais sans sa princessôptipoâ ! said...

Hi Donna, how impressed I am when I look at the wonderful things you do ! quilting is certainly one thing I am unable to do !
Would love to become your new friend from the other side of the world !!!
Big hugs from France !

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster
Welcome to Comin' Home! If you lived nearby, I'd invite you over to my neck of the woods for a nice long chat and a cup of tea out on the deck. But since we can't do that, I hope you'll stay and look around. I love learning new things and sharing what I learn with friends. Comin' Home is where I share tips from my many projects. Let's have some fun together! XO Donna

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