Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings

Last week we spent four lovely days with my family. It's rare we get to spend such a long time together so it was a real treat.

Michelle and I attempted to revisit the sewing sweat shop and kick out some Christmas stockings. We managed, at least, to get them cut out. They traveled back to Chicago with her to be finished. So, hopefully you'll be seeing them soon. They are so special. I can't wait for you to see them.

Mom has been telling us for a while that she has more of grandma's fabric stash to go through. I really didn't think it was possible. The two of us have already taken box after box of vintage treasures. Apparently though, we get our fabric hoarding honest--as both of us ended up taking two large bags full of goodies home once again.

Last night I pulled it all out and decided it was too beautiful not to share. So here are the highlights--mind you this is only the fabric I took--Michelle has bags of goodies all her own.
Wool. Gorgeous wool. The photo doesn't do it justice. It's amazing. And there are yards and yards of it.
Lots of cute retro print cottons. That red white and blue print on top of the pile is a synthetic fabric of some sort. It was my mom's prom dress! How fun. Fabric is cool enough but when it has a story? Love it. I can't decide which print here is my favorite. I love them all.
Check out this corduroy. My mom hated it. I love it. Love. Love. Love it.
It may be my favorite piece in the whole bunch.
The folk art look. The corduroy. The colors. Everything is just perfection to me.
It looks like it could be a Kokka print doesn't it?

When I laid it out with these two cotton floral prints I started getting visions of beautiful projects to come. Oh to have unlimited time.
Fall-ish prints and colors. Lots of fun textures in this lot. And that white fabric with the green flowers? Yeah, Michelle and I split that one. We are typically pretty generous when going through grandma's fabric but we both wanted that one bad.
Gingham oh how I love thee.
Be ye itty bitty, medium sized or jumbo I will never turn you away.
Check this out. 
A bolt of pink broadcloth. 
(forgive my terrible fake lighting--there is no natural light to be found these cold dark days of winter, at least not when your prime sewing time is after 5 pm)

Drip dry even. Little or no ironing required. 
Now that's what I'm talking about.
I didn't take a lot of the notions. Just a few things I thought I might use. Some trim, some rope, some thread, some bias tape. And how about those patterns?
But the very best treasure of all?
Hands down.
These fifteen crazy quilt blocks.
Don't they look like stained glass all laid out like that?
Each block was hand pieced and then hand embroidered.
I'm not gonna lie, as I pulled each one out, turned it over in my hands and examined it, I shed a few tears.
To think of the amount of time and love that went into this.
No scrap wasted.
Each one telling a story.

Grandma has asked me before how I find time to sew.
I want to know how she ever had time to do something as intricate and beautiful as this.
Truth is, we all make time to do what we love.
And I have a feeling grandma was much like me once, leaving dishes dirty on the counter so she could steal 20 minutes here, 10 minutes there to do the thing that gave her joy.

I love you grandma. And I'm so thankful for the legacy that you've passed down to us. It's more, of course, than this fabric. But to me, this fabric is a beautiful representation of the love, the creativity, the resourcefulness, and the generosity with which you have lived your life.
And for that, I will be eternally grateful.



  1. The crazy quilt is amazing!!! I love cqs, and I'm with you on the amazingness of the curduroy. I have yet to touch my late grandma's fabric, and I can't figure out exactly what to do with it. I'll be looking ot you for inspiration! To be honest, I almost shed a tear or two just reading this post.

  2. No almost about it. My eyes are leaking. Hoping its not too obvious as I'm sitting in class.