Thursday, December 05, 2019

a tisket a tasket

I'm getting very side-tracked with my grandomther's basket quilt.
I worked on it for most of Monday, our first day home after Mexico trip.
I thought of mending each square before working on it.
I questioned why I felt that I needed to do anything with it.
I tried to do something with it back in 2007 and ended up making a paper quilt.
Folded the real one up for twelve more years.
The thing is, it's quite badly made.
Machine stitching is mixed with hand stitching - and this is for both applique and the quilting.
It's as if my grandmother, my mother's mother, didn't know what she was doing.
She was just going for it
 I think she stopped working on it because she didn't know how to proceed.
I've been told that I am a lot like her...and handling these patches makes me feel her more closely.
She's right here.
She doesn't mind that I decided to cut her work up.
She's glad that I am working with it.
She was an amazing gardener.  and painter.
This always happens to me when I come home from a trip.
I'm faced with a house FULL of artifacts of our long life together,
and I start to put everything in order.

By making new things out of them!  It's so foolish. 
What I need to do is turn my back on it all and get back to me.
pure me....moving forward.

But instead I wallow in my - our- past.
My grandmother's quilt is just a passing phase.  I will get over it.
But for now, it is what I'm working on.
I'm thinking of treating the patched and mended piece like a Japanese boro
densely stitched with big threads.
Lord, save me from myself.
The physical act of making is a way of clearing the mind from demands of the outside world.  Somewhere between the heart and the mind is a state of concentration out of which ideas and insights emerge. 
Mary Jane Jacobs 


  1. Very interesting post Judy. So sweet. It will be very interesting to see your work going forward after you have spent time in your grandmother's company.
    I see in one of your paragraphs different words.....But instead I am grounded in my-our-past. My grandmother's quilt is a comforting phase. I will embrace it. For now, it is what I'm working on.
    Much love Judy.

    1. thank you
      I love the way you could hear a gentler, kinder me.
      You are right - I am feeling comforted by this quilt, even though I am frustrated by the beginner quality of it, when I grew up thinking of her as someone who knew how to make beautiful clothes for my aunt and my mother.
      Yes, I will embrace this comforting phase. For now, it is what I'm working on xo
      much love to you, Jackie. xo

  2. a collaboration of time and blood lines

  3. Thought you might like this link: . Enjoy your musings about your grandmother's quilt. Very sweet to travel back in time to appreciate her even more.

    1. Thank you. I went to the link and it was very nice to see the pattern and the date of the weekly newspaper patterns. I have worked out that my grandmother was about 40 when she made the quilt from these published patterns - and was busy with 4 little children at the same time, all born in the 20's with the baby born 1929. My mother was born 1927. I think that making this quilt was very nurturing for my grandmother. Each block was lovingly stitched. xo

  4. Here is one more: This is the story of my like ~ starting down a path that side tracks me to learn a little more. A good thing I think.

    1. Thanks for that link as well. It sounds as if we are both easily side-tracked into personal discovery. Yes - a good thing. Thanks for both of these informative links xo

  5. Your work on this quilt may inspire another person
    in your family's future? I love the baskets holding different flowers.

    1. I love the idea of making something for the future generation to touch and understand. It's very life-affirming and hopeful to create for that purpose. Thanks for your note. I also love that each basket has a different flower. They reflect Ethel Jane's huge creativity and love of her flower garden. xo

  6. So glad you got to add more to the story. It's wonderful!

  7. the same happens to me when I've been away (sometimes after just one night!) I think it has to do with (gently) settling back into one's own starting out with something to do with 'tidying up' I find it easier to feel 'at home ' again
    love the quote btw

  8. I have so enjoyed reading this post Judy with your thoughts and your grandmother's quilt. I never knew any of my grandparents, they had all passed on before I was born.
    I like that you had no qualms about cutting the squares out of the quilt and your idea of possibly using the Japanese Boro stitching , I think it would look perfectly at home!

  9. I so get where you are going here Judy. Happens to me all the time.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx