Quilts, Both Fictional and Real

Hi, everyone, Winnie Griggs here. I hope you all are having a great start to 2022.

Today I want to talk about my first foray into the world of Amish Romance, Her Amish Wedding Quilt and then segue into recounting a few personal tidbits.
The book opens on the morning of Jan 1, the first day of a new year, and Greta Eicher is filled with thoughts of the bright and hopeful future she pictures for herself. She’s positive it will all come about in this new year. Of course, since this is a romance novel, things don’t work out quite as Greta imagined—in fact the whole New Years day ends in disaster for her.

Greta has an avocation to fall back on, though, while she licks her wounds—she’s not only the co-owner of a quilt shop but she is also an artist who creates breathtaking quilting designs. And it is in focusing in on her craft that she is able to heal, move forward and eventually open herself up to real love. I got so into her story that I actually created Greta’s heart & dove stitch design that plays a part in the big resolution of the story.

While I’m not nearly as talented as Greta, I did actually make a quilt once myself. It was over 40 years ago, back before I had the happy distractions of kids and a writing career. I don’t even remember what triggered the urge but I decided I would teach myself how to make a quilt and that, once I completed my first one, I would gift the masterpiece to my mother for her birthday.

So I bought a bunch of how to books (this was before the internet and YouTube videos) and carefully selected a pattern and methodology. Back then I was making most of my clothes and had a large pile of fabric scraps. So one of the things that went into my selection of a pattern was to find something that would allow me to use those and not require that I go out and purchase a lot of new material. When I came across the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern I knew I’d found just the thing. And a bonus was finding a version that allowed me to tackle it in a ‘quilt as you go’ method.

I did go on to make that quilt and give it to my mother who still uses it in one of her guest rooms to this day. But I’d waaaaayyy underestimated the amount of time it would take me to finish it.  Instead of giving it to her for her birthday (October) that year it became a Mother’s Day gift the following year. I’ve included a photo of the finished product. I folded it over so you can see the actual Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern on the front, and the mixed hexagon pattern on the back.

As it turns out, that was the one and only quilt I ever made (remember those ‘happy distractions’ I mentioned? Well they came along soon after).

My mom, who was a very talented seamstress (she made ALL of our clothes when I was growing up), was not a quilter at the time. But in a funny happenstance she made friends with some ladies who were part of a quilting group a few years later. She joined them and started quilting herself. She became both talented and proficient in the art. In addition to quilts the group made for charity auctions, she made quilts as gifts for many friends and family members, including her 5 kids and 13 grandchildren. Each of us cherish them for the treasures they are. Here are a few shots of some of her creations, including a quilted tree skirt she made for me that I use every year.

Unfortunately, like me, Mom has put up her quilting supplies. But the body of work she created is marvelous and treasured by those who received pieces of it.

Have you ever challenged yourself to learn a new skill that was outside your wheelhouse? What was it and how did it turn out? Leave a comment concerning that or on what you thought of my post to be entered in a drawing for a copy of any book from my backlist.

 

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Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.

46 thoughts on “Quilts, Both Fictional and Real”

  1. Hello Winnie Love all The Beautiful Quilts I have done 2 Quilts before one for My daughter when she was younger and one for My Bed But it has been a lot of years ago!

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  2. I love your quilt! I have a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt my grandma made me. I have lots of quilts, most made by Grandma, but a couple from my mother-in-law, one from my mom, one from my other grandma, a few that I bought, and one small one that I pieced but haven’t quilted. It’s a combination of 9-patch squares alternating with squares with a heart. My grandma stitched some of the heart appliques.

    We have an antique wood quilt frame in the family. The type used by Plain People in Lancaster County where my mom’s family is from–she was raised Plain. My Lancaster grandma gave it to my Tennessee grandma since she was the quilter. They never met each other, but they exchanged letters once in a while.

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  3. Quilting is one of the things that I decided to teach myself. I made quilts for each of my daughters and for all of my grandchildren. I am currently in the process of making quilts for the 9 grandchildren I was gifted with my second marriage.

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  4. our church ladies always did a quilt to auction off in November – I helped by candlewicking several blocks – It was so much fun – wish I knew who bought that quilt!

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  5. During the pandemic I’ve learned to make knives. They turned out really good. I’ve actually had offers to buy them.

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  6. Welcome today. Your quilt you gifted your mom is gorgeous. So much love went into that one quilt. And your moms are lovely also. This is why I love quilting. I can spread love to others. Of course having fun making it, also is one of my pleasures. I learned to sew when I was six. When I was in high school mom took a class for quilting and she taught me as she went along. Back then it was all by hand. Arrrgghh it sooo long to see lovely results. So I stopped. I got married, we had our first right away and then our second. Truly lovely distractions. When they were both in school full time I joined a quilting group at church. I learned to sew on machine (YESSSS) about fabrics, etc. Well I was hooked. Today I still quilt. I have given so many quilts away as weddings, births etc. have come up. Now I make for our home. LOL Last year was the first time I became involved in a BOM (block of the month) group. Oh but I loved that. So this year, I am involved in another block of the month. When our kiddos were in kindergarten and third grade we took a trip and ran into a lovely store that had all things ink and rubber stamps. Oh but the creativity bug hit again. LOL We bought inks and stamps that the kiddos and I would like and we set to having fun. That started another hobby for myself. Our kiddos are now 37 and 34 and stamping greeting cards has become a ministry for me in some ways. Our church has a meal ministry (I am a part of) so everyone also gets a card from our church family. This I have been doing now for about 20 years.

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    • Hi Lori. It sounds like you live a very creative life! BOM sounds very intriguing – does that mean you learn a new block pattern every month?
      And I LOVE the idea of your stamping ministry/hobby. The closest I ever came to something like that was the period of time I played with decorative hole punches.

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  7. It’s been several years ago now, but back when computer’s was becoming a household thing, I saw that they were going to become a necessity one day and I should get one and learn how to use it. I started out by taking some classes at the local community college that gave me a little idea of how it all worked. I have enjoyed my ups and many downs with them since, but don’t know how I ever done without one.

    I really enjoyed your post. I am not a quilter myself, but my mother-in-law was. She was in a group also that turned out many. She also made one for all her 14 children and her many, many, grandchildren.

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  8. I have a quilt that’s quite a bit like the one you made!! I’d like to quilt, I think, but I have a problem called “can’t cut a straight line if my life depended on it”!!! I like to do embroidery, though I don’t do much of it any more, and I used to crochet, too. Now, I make my own cards! That’s one thing I can still do and really enjoy!!

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    • Hi Trudy – LOL on your “problem”, I can definitely relate. The only embroidery I’ve indulged in is cross stitch but used to love it. Unfortuntely my vision and dexterity aren’t what they once were so I’ve had to put it away.

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  9. I’ve quilted some small quilts for grandchildren and still make a few. I started 14 years ago, but I would like to learn how to make a rag rug now. Years ago I made a poncho (on a loom). I made the sections when I was in college, but I did not finish it until about 20 years later when I gave it to my granddaughter.

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  10. I tried knitting when I was younger but somehow I always dropped stitches and ended up with holes in my knitting. I found that crochet is much more fun and much easier to go back and fix when you make a mistake. Those are beautiful quilts by the way!

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  11. Good afternoon Winnie, first of all I want to tell you how beautiful the quilts are! The tree skirt you mom quilted for you is Beautiful and what a treasure it is. When I was very young, my grandmother made a couple of quilts, so I decided to also try it and so I made one, it was okay, but that was the only one I made. When I had my first born, I made her a Christmas stocking from a kit and I also made one for our son, but I didn’t make his until he was maybe 5, needless to say we still have them, our daughters stocking is about 43 years old now. I also made some stockings for our 3 grandchildren , my son in law and our daughter in law. Have a great week and stay safe. Thank you for sharing your beautiful master pieces.

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  12. I’ve only made one full size quilt so far. The top was already pieced together and I just quilted on it. I did make a Star Wars baby quilt my first grandson was born.

    One of the favorite things I have in my possession is an appliqued quilt from my husband’s family. It was likely quilted in the early 1800s. It was taken along on the Cherokee Strip Land Run in Oklahoma Territory in 1893.

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  13. I enjoyed reading your post. I never tried quilting. My mom had an aunt who was into quilting. We still have some quilts that she gave to us.

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  14. Like your mom I put my quilting things away a few years ago. Arthritis has got the best of me and also my sister past away and she always quilted them for me on her quilting machine. I never tried to do the flower garden quilt like you did. I spent a lot of time trying to do the Lone Star quilt and got pretty good with that one. I even done some baby quilts in the Lone Star pattern. I have made some log cabin quilts and rail fence to name a couple that I did do. I even done an Irish chain quilt for my girlfriend because here mother was from Ireland. I still have a fabric stash so who knows maybe I will try it again sometime.

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    • Oh I love all of the quilt patterns you named. In fact the log cabin version you see pictured is the one my mom made for me.
      And I do hope, if it’s something you want to do, that you do get to take it up again

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  15. Congratulations on your quilt. It turned out nicely. Your mother’s quilts are lovely. I especially like the colors in the first one. Quilting was what I wanted to learn and tried. I took a class. We did a quilted Christmas tree wall hanging and several other small holiday items. It was OK, but it turned out n to to be something I had the time or interest to pursue. I have several antique quilts – a crazy quilt from my paternal grandmother and a baby quilt she made for the family cradle. I have 3 other quilts she made, but they were purely utilitarian – large squares that were pieced and tacked. She had 7 children (6 boys) and worked at a shirt factory. The quilts were made from scraps she got at work. They are warm and that is what counts. I have an antique one I got at auction and a new twin quilt I bought at a charity auction. I have two friends that quilt and their wall hangings are beautiful. I could never be that good. I enjoy sewing and embroidery and will stick with that.

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  16. I taught myself how to corss stitch as well as one crocheting stitch. I have made lap quits that are cross stitched and then hand quilted, nothing like you do. I have made afghans that I have used as gifts. I also do bead and sequin calendars and banners that I give away as gifts. The quilts are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

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