Grandma’s Handmade Quilt

By Hand

What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.

Grandma made a quilt for each of her grandkids.  These were mainly hand sewn, with some machine sewing, but all hand-quilted.

I got mine in 1981, when I got married.  I used it often, for many years.  I just now tried to find an old snapshot of it, and unfortunately, the only one I have, the quilt is folded on a table.

Mine started fraying, tearing, and tattering to the point I could no longer use it.  Although it was beyond repair, I saved it in my closet, and then in my mother-in-laws cedar chest.   No matter how torn or tattered, I just couldn’t throw it out!

A couple years ago, I got a bunch of old well-used quilts when cleaning Dad’s house after Mom died, so I decided to cut out the good parts and make old quilt throws.  My sister let me have her quilt for this purpose, too.

When I was cutting up my quilt, I found a block that Grandma had written in green ink – Made by Clara Niemann, 1980.  I don’t remember ever seeing it before!

Made by Clara

I mixed up the blocks in each throw, and was able to make 5 throws,  but to be sure, I kept the one with the block she signed.

Right now, I’m working on a Grandmother’s Fan quilt from blocks I think she started.  I finally have it all assembled and have even started quilting it.  Like the Butterfly Handkerchief quilt, I don’t know what I plan to do with it, again, not having a guest bed to display quilts I want to cherish and preserve.

After a couple hours of quilting, wondering what I was going to do with this quilt that I’ve put 100+ hours or so into (not to mention all the hours she put in cutting and sewing the tiny fan blades!), knowing I will preserve it as best I can (which means washing it as little as possible and not leaving it in a sunlit room), I wondered if someday, someone, my grandchild or great grandchild, will still have this quilt and think of me.

I think they will.

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