Friday, July 21, 2017

Swedish Grandmother Part 3

Through my local quilt guild I have made a lovely new acquaintance, Margreta. She in turn has a sweet sister, Mira.  I've only just met Margreta and I only talked to Mira for a few moments on the phone.  They are women with very kind personalities.  I also hint a bit of 'fun' and 'adventure' in their tones with each other.

These women have a most wonderful treasure.  Their Grandmother left behind 62 dresden petals that need a home in a warm and loving quilt.  Well...actually two quilts.  I'm going to make two quilts from these gorgeous dresdens and plan to have two left over for a couple of pillow shams.  Each sister will have a keepsake from their Grandmother and these dresdens will finally have a happy ending.

This is Swedish Grandmother (SG).  She was born in the midwest in 1887.  Grover Cleveland was president.  Her parents were immigrants from Sweden.  They were early pioneers.  SG spoke Swedish and cooked many Swedish dishes.  Margreta says that, besides her snoring (so endearing), what she remembers most was her old fashioned pedal sewing machine.  Margreta and her cousin use to visit SG on her farm.  She made Muumuus for them, aprons, and monkey sock dolls.

What sweet memories.  I have no idea what it's like to be an immigrant.  My family has been here in Florida since the early to mid 1800s and in Georgia before that.  I can only imagine the excitement, anxiety, and all the jumbled emotions that must go with starting a new life.

I've had such fun going through each of these dresdens, trying to decide which remnants were from aprons and maybe which one were dresses.  Which fabrics did she love? Since these were fabrics from her many projects, each one must hold a memory...a special event...someone she loved.  I can tell that she loved her fabric; she sewed and pressed them with great care.  She took the time to save such tiny pieces and join them together to make something so beautiful.

Now that I have what??

Well, these lovely little dresdens have been sitting still for quite some time (over 50 years).  So the first thing was to take a look at the petal's points.
I took my tiny thread scissors and ever so gently made the petal points sharp.  I went under the fabric and pressed gently with my scissor point to make sure that each petal had a point at the end.  This will make sure that each dresden looks crisp and it will also make the sewing go more smoothly and straight.

I also trimmed little threads so that when I sew the dresden to a block these threads wont be peeking out at me.
Then I needed to decide what top thread I wanted to use.  I tried out yellow, white, blue, and black.  With all of SG vibrant colors, I felt that the blue would blend in best.  We shall see.

I'm taking my time with these beautiful treasures.  They will reside with me for a short time in their long life; I'm honored to be a small part in their story.

Life is sweet and the rain just stopped.   The weekend is starting and I can't wait to see what memories I can make with those I love.  Life is but a breath and I cherish each one.  -Little Mama

Swedish Grandmother Part 1
Swedish Grandmother Part 2


  1. April, I just read Part I, Part II, and Part III. It's so exciting to be on this journey with you. You are a wonderfully artistic and caring person to endeavor such a journey as this. The ladies are in for a special surprise and I can hardly wait to see what unfolds in this beautiful serendipity.

  2. What a kind deed to do for these two ladies, strangers at first but now two friends I'm sure. With such beautiful hand made family treasure blocks to work with, I'm sure that the quilts you make for them will be just wonderful.

  3. I'm so enjoying reading your progress on this loving project! You are such a detail person - and that's the perfect trait to have for this project. I'm learning from you. Thank you!

  4. That's such a lovely story. I'm sure that your new friends will be thrilled.

  5. What a treasure thanks for sharing along with the story of SG.

  6. This is absolutely one of the most thrilling, exciting tales I've read lately. To take patches of material and design a lovely quilt is magic to me. I love, also, how you share with the reader your adventures and intertwine it with it with life.