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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Made With Love

My grandma was the sweetest, most loving, giving, and funny old lady you will ever meet. She is my hero. This picture was taken of us just a few weeks before she died. It's the last picture I have of me and my sweet Granny.
Granny is my hero. If I can be half the woman she is... sigh I miss her more than I can say.
Anyway, Grandma was a quilter. She made (literally) thousands of blankets in her life time for her family and friends, but mostly she made baby quilts that she donated to an organization called Warm Hearts, Warm Babies who gave baby blankets to shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, and foster children. Especially in her later years when she was not working, she sewed baby blankets all day long turning out several a week. She loved the work, but did it also as a service of love. Also, Granny was completely blind the last several years she was alive. It didn't slow her down one bit. Think of the thousands of babies wrapped in the blankets she lovingly made... what a legacy.
When Grandma was in the hospital before she passed away she kept talking about getting home, because she had two quilts to finish and get sent off. Grandma never finished those two quilts, but when we were cleaning out her house after she passed, we found the incomplete quilts.
My dad picked up one of those baby quilts that had tractors on it. He loved it. He started pointing out the different kinds of tractors he had as a kid. He loved it. Grandma had the front pieced together and the batting and backing pinned to it, ready to go. It just needed to be tied (Granny tied all her quilts with yarn. She technically didn't do any 'quilting' so some might argue they are not technically 'quilts' but whatever...) and needed the binding sewn on.
I made sure the unfinished quilts came home from CO with me.
It took me almost a year before I could bring myself to pull them out, but I decided my dad needed to have this last quilt-- the Tractor quilt that his mom started and didn't get a chance to finish.
I started the project, and I have to be honest-- more than once I had to put it down for a few days to compose myself. I couldn't exactly remember the stitch she did to hand sew the binding on. I was devastated. I knew I could figure it out, but I wanted to do it exactly like Granny did it.
The quilt turned out beautiful. If you are looking closely at her work... in that first picture you may notice that her rows were off-- sometimes by about 1/4 inch. And in the second photo... around the middle there are two blocks out of place that don't fit the pattern. Granny was very sick and very blind when she stitched this last blanket together... but I think these little 'errors' are just a trademark of her dedication to her mission to love and serve. She wasn't going to let anything stand in her way.
Not that I doubted my dad would know the origins of this very special blanket, but I wanted to up the 'keepsake value' of the quilt and so I hand embroidered a patch that I attached to the back bottom corner.
It said: made with Love by MOM, January 2010 (when grandma passed)
And 'Made with Love' is more than just a cute tag-- but the truth. Everything Grandma did she did with love. Love for God, love for her family, and love for babies she would never meet but would be blessed by one of her beautiful quilts.
This special quilt, once completed was a birthday gift for my dad. He opened the box and immediately knew what he was gazing upon. "My tractor quilt!" he said. He loved it. He snuggled it all evening. It sits on the back of his recliner at home.
It's nice to see it when i go to my parents house. It's a lovely keepsake and reminder of my Grandma, and how much she Loved.


  1. Hi, Valerie. I clicked on your blog from Danielle William's Analytical Mom blog...because you have such a cute name for your blog. Anyway...it turns out I actually kind of know you..we were on the same floor freshman year at Olivet? It's okay if you don't remember me...I have long since dropped out and severed ties with the place.

    Well...my husband and I moved to CO almost five years ago...we got involved in our local Nazarene church and I joined a women's Bible study that I was privileged to share with your grandmother, Phyllis. She actually made one of these blankets when my son was born, about two and half years ago. It was so generous and thoughtful, it's definitely something we will cherish for many years to come.

    Just wanted to share! Hope you have a great day!

  2. I actually saw your name on Danielles blog the other day... and thought... i went to school once with a girl named Stacia, I wonder if...?
    Of course I remember you!
    Anyhow, good to hear from you.
    And I am glad you had the pleasure of meeting my Grandma. She was a dear sweet woman, and I miss her every day. She left quite a legacy, and lots of special blankets for special babies. There is nothing Grandma loved more than babies. :)
    Thank you for sharing. :)

  3. Oh, Valerie, I am late reading this, but it made me cry. Such an amazing lady. What a special gift for your dad to have - the embroidered patch on the back really got me.