Thursday, October 29, 2009

My first quilt (almost!)

My maternal grandmother, Hazel Pride Clark, was really my mom and grandma all in one. She reared my brother, sister and I from the time we were 2 or 3 years old. I didn't get her cooking genes (my sister did) but I did get her quilting genes (and am so VERY grateful that I did). My friends and family all called her Grandma Clark. She was a "cool" granny. She covered for all my friends so they wouldn't get in trouble for not being home on time or for being places prohibited by parents. She'd let me go and do anything that I wanted to do just as long as I told her the truth about where I was going and what I was doing. Consequently all my friends could trust and confide in her and she trusted us. She made a living making noodles, cakes, cookies and quilts. She had no sewing machine. Everything was done by hand. I can only remember 2 quilts that she made although I am certain that there were many more. The first one was a Grandma's Flower Garden made by piecing small octagons together. I remember her explaining to me why it was important that the path be green and the centers of each flower yellow. It was beautiful. The other one was a weird quilt. It was made of tiny pillows that were each stuffed with used women's hosery. One leg in each pillow. (This was the 60's and before panty hose.) When completed, no quilting was required. I thought it was an ugly quilt at the time. I'd give a million bucks to have it now. And, it is funny when I see this pattern from time to time in the Cloitilde catalogue. Grandma Clark reared her 4 children in Williamsport, Ohio as a single parent after the untimely death of her husband who died when my mother was a child. Later, she moved to my home in Circleville, Ohio. Grandma Clark's been gone for nearly 30 years now. I still miss her every day and think of her with every stitch I take. I hug her with every snuggle under every quilt. And, I see her influences in most quilts I make. My first quilt was of course, Grandma's flower garden. I realized half way through the piecing that I was never going to finish it in a traditional setting so I hand appliqued the flowers that I hand pieced then I hand quilted it and gave it to my niece as a wedding gift several years ago. Here's a photo of my Grandma Clark, my flower garden quilt and me when I started the Marble Falls Quilt Club nearly 10 years ago.