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.