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Friday, December 26, 2014

"Shirley's Stars" - A Tribute to my Grandmother

 

My grandmother passed away in October, and I miss her every day. When I was smaller, I would sleep over my grandparents' house; she taught me how to play Solitaire and War. We played many games of Scrabble, too. When I was older, she was one of the family members who took me to my first Broadway show (Peter Pan, when I was 10). Grandma loved anything and everything to do with Broadway musicals, and she attended many of the shows I was in throughout high school and college. I know my experiences and memories of her are just a small part of her life and the effect she had on so many people.

With my grandparents at my wedding, October 2012

 Grandkids and grandparents, Father's Day 2014

Father's Day 2014 - Grandma and I

Grandma also loved needlepoint. I never saw her actually work on one, but they were all over the house. Whenever I showed her a quilt I was working on, she would tell me about her memories of hand-stitching white stars on blue fabric with her sister. She lamented not knowing what had become of the quilt, but she was keen to pass on the story.
 

The weekend after she passed away, I was at my LQS for a guild event. I felt like I needed to work through my feelings with the best therapy I know - sewing. I knew I wanted to give something to my grandfather for Hanukkah.


The blue and white is meant not only to mimic Grandma's quilt, but also to commemorate my Grandfather's status as a veteran. The many different stars were an experiment with alternate gridwork and my internal negative space regulator (this is surely the most I've ever left on a quilt!). This quilt was also my first all-solid quilt.

I drew the quilted star (like above) on paper first, pinned it to the quilt, and traced over it with my FMQ foot. Then, I added some extra interest/movement by making them "shooting stars." I'm really pleased with how the quilting came out. It carries a simple design (stars) to something a bit more complicated.

 
Stars in the quilt: two Ribbon Stars from Fresh Lemons Quilts, a fragmented star featured at Night Owl Quilting, two Friendship Stars from Generations, and a Drunken Star from Pippin Sequim.

The whole thing is bound and backed in Joel Dewberry's navy Herringbone. It was a perfect match to the American Made Brand solid (loved the color of AMB but not the extreme lintiness!).


 I was anxious to present the quilt to Grandpa at our Hanukkah celebration last week and tell him the story of the quilt. I'm so glad he likes it. I think Grandma would have loved it, too.

 Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, A Lovely Year of Finishes (this was my December goal), TGIFF.


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22 comments:

  1. What a lovely and meaningful design! Your quilting designs are beautiful as well.

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  2. What an amazing quilt. I can't imagine your grandpa and grandma doing anything but love it. The last photo of him beside the quilt just melts my heart. Beautiful story and what an amazing quilt - the quilting on it is fabulous. :)

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  3. I love the sweet story that this special quilt has, and your Grandpa seems so happy to receive it and show it off. Your grandma looks like she was a very sweet hearted person. I am sorry that you miss her but treasure the memories and pass the stories down to your children some day.

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  4. Your work on this quilt is amazing, your Grandma would be very proud of you.

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  5. it's beautiful, and the story behind it is even more special, I'm sure your Grandpa really treasures it.

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  6. Beautiful quilt, beautiful meaning, beautiful memories.....

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  7. Aw, what a sweet story of the quilt! I am so sorry about your grandma, I'm sure she would like that quilt very much. I love the contrast of the white and dark blue, and the quilting adds beautiful movement to the quilt and the stars!

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  8. This beautiful Stars quilt is a wonderful tribute to an amazing grandma. Love the use of the solids and your quilting is such a compliment to the design. Nice work, Jessica!

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  9. What a lovely quilt to preserve lovely memories. The twinkle in your grandmother's eyes is so sweet in the pictures. She must have been a special person. I'm sure your grandfather will treasure that quilt.

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  10. A beautiful quilt, and a lovely tribute to your grandmother!

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  11. What a beautiful quilt! Your quilting is so amazing. I am always inspired by what you do as a quilter. So sorry for your loss. It is hard to lose our parents and grandparents. I am sure your grandpa will love that quilt.

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  12. What a wonderful memorial to your grandmother and gift to your grandfather.

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  13. What a beautiful story! He looks thrilled with the lovely quilt too.

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  14. Love how this came out. I guess you had great inspiration.

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  15. I'm absolutely positive that your love for your grandmother is buried within this quilt and that your grandfather can feel it any time he is near it. A lovely memorial.

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. I also think of my grandmother all the time. What a nice way to pay tribute.

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  17. What a lovely memento Jess. You have your grandmother's smile :)

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  18. A beautiful tribute and such a wonderful way to feel a connection to your grandmother. Lovely!

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  19. What a beautiful tribute, Jessica; both the quilt and the blog post. Congratulations!

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  20. What a precious gift, Your design is just beautiful and your quilting looks great. I can only imagine how special it must be to your grandfather.

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  21. I love the sentiment and the symbolism. Well done.

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  22. That's an amazing tribute for your grandmother! I can tell how much you miss her, and I know just how proud she is of you. It's no surprise that you have a lovely family. Your grandmother established a loving foundation, and I can tell you got most of her traits. The quilt looks amazing, by the way. Thank you so much for sharing that, Jessica! All the best to you! :)

    Joel Pratt @ Comfort Keepers

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