The Story of the Quilt

So, it is tradition in my family that when one either graduates from high school or gets married, one gets a quilt. For the graduation quilt, Grandma makes the whole thing (or at least, that’s how it was in my day – 12 years ago). For the wedding quilt, everyone in the family (or, more accurately, the non-slackers) makes a quilt square and then Grandma makes it into a quilt. I received a quilt for graduation…and it was pink. I am not so much a pink person, but despite the color mis-match, I have enjoyed much quality time with the pink patchwork.

When I moved to LA, I requested a T-shirt quilt – I had a bunch of t-shirts that had special meaning for me, but that I was never going to wear again – most of which were from high school and college. I picked the colors, and it is hella awesome. There is only one small problem – there was a slight miscommunication about one of the shirts, so a shirt that I wanted only the front of (Hobo Days 1998!) had the back used instead (a picture of a drunk friend of mine). So now, every night I sleep under the drunken aspect of Kunz. Trust me, this is important information.

When the wedding quilt topic came up, I was a little leary. I was afraid of getting a lavender quilt resplendent with Precious Moments embroidery and Bible verses. But – I also really wanted the quilt (there was a time I thought I might not have one at all – because Grandma is reaching the end of her quilting days).

All is well, however, because I got my quilt.

And now, if you’re interested, I’ll tell you about the squares.

From the top left:

This (and all the more traditional looking squares) is from the family of my mother’s youngest brother. They were, in all likelihood, made by his wife, but this one represents Nicole.

This is a collection of photos, mostly of Brad & I, and mostly from the wedding. My South D bitches are in the top right corner (at my wedding party) and I was thrilled to note that the fur-babies made the cut, too.

This square was painted by my cousin Aubree (the youngest daughter of my mother’s youngest brother).

More photos – I’m trying valiantly to ignore how terrible I look in the “Amy 2003” photo…and look! Marcy made the quilt twice!

Another traditional square – this one representing my mother’s brother and his wife.

This one was done by my cousin-in-law Bobbi (I think) and is to represent the outdoor adventuring people that we are…with an inspirational quote.

Again with the cousin-in-law…although techinically these represent the family of my mother’s younger sister, her two kids, their spouses, and their children. Yeah, we have big families.

There is no reason why Bob Barker is on my quilt. That’s my story.

Look at this! My Mom made our house! Isn’t that cool? This is one of my two favorite squares.

This is my mom’s family, with my grandparents seated. I’m pretty sure this is Grandma & Grandpa’s 60th Anniversery (the 62nd is this Friday…and my parents 35th is Saturday)

This is another offering from the Larsens (the cousin-in-law). Bobbi & Paul are also Jackrabbits – and in fact, there were a number of Bunnies present when I looked at the quilt, so a hearty rah! was sounded.

This was made (I think) by my Aunt Carol, my mother’s older sister. Although honestly, I could be wrong. I kinda wish that they’d been signed. It is the musical square…for I am a musical girl. I’m not sure if you can see it or not, but the word “Joy” is embroidered in dark leaf section on the bottom.

This is post-wedding, when Brad was the brand new member of our family.

The wedding photo. Most people receive their quilt AT their wedding, so they don’t actually get all the wedding pics on the quilt. We’re cool like that.

Pics of the little sister and me. We certainly were adorable children, weren’t we?

Another traditional square – this one representing the youngest of that branch. Also, it is a boat, and it is on sideways. I don’t know if/when I would’ve noticed, but Grandma (as with all the women in the family) is quick to point out her mistakes. I guess it saves someone else from doing it later.

My mother’s older sister Carol did this one, as well. The bouquet (no way representative of my own, non-existent bouquet) is a combo of February’s and May’s flowers – the months of Brad’s and my birth.

Brad’s square

And now the reason for the t-shirt quilt backstory becomes clear. On my new quilt is a picture of my older quilt, with Kunz’s visage still clear.

My square

My mother’s older sister, her son and his wife, and their kids.

Another music square. I guess it’s time to buy that piano.

Aren’t we just the best looking couple ever?

My sister embroidered this square for us, with our wedding location and everything!

Another offering from the SDSU crowd…and yes, I was a band geek (although I’ve never been to band camp). So this was very cool. I was a section leader in the Pride for two years.

This is the best square on the quilt, narrowly edging out the embroidered house. I’m not sure if you can read it or not, but the embroidery says:

“And sometimes when our fights begin
I think I’ll let the dragons win
And then I think perhaps I won’t
Because they’re Dragons
And I don’t .”

Y’all, my dad did that square. And that quote was something that my father gave me when I was in college and having a really hard time with a lot of things. Sometimes that’s all I needed to regain some focus. And the fact that my father embroidered that for me (and check out the hella cool dragon!) means more to me than I can express, and I’ve been known to be wordy. That is a spectacular gift.

This is from the youngest brother’s oldest daughter 🙂

Pics of my cousins’ kids (three from one cousin, one from another).

I’m not sure who did this square. Maybe my mother’s 2nd brother’s wife? (Which would mean, I think, that the other music one with “Joy” embroidered on it was her, too….hmmm….mom? help?) Again, not sure if you can see it, but the embroidery on the pink says “Made With Love.”

My mother’s younger sister, her husband, their two kids with their spouses, and the four younger generations….prolific breeders, my family. I figure they’ve had my share, so I don’t have to participate in the breeding.

The last square, representing cousin Phillip.

So – that’s the quilt. Anyone still with me? If so, I must share just two more photos.

Photo #1:

The best candle holder EVER. Courtesy my little sister, who has remarkable taste in candles (and footwear).

AND – my crowing glory from my trip to South Dakota:

My lefse stick. Used for flipping lefse AND for poking people when they don’t behave. Now I just need my griddle and my special rolling pin, and I will be your Norwegian grandmother.

So – thanks for sticking with me for that. Let me know if you have any further questions. I’ll try for both shoe porn AND a real update tomorrow.

7 responses to “The Story of the Quilt

  1. that quilt is BEAUTIFUL!! I am a little jealous….unfortunately, I come from crotcheting stock and have WAAAAYYYY too many afghans…….

  2. I could tell the Bob Barker story, but since I would like to keep my status as a 2 square friend, I will remain silent. You’re so lucky I’m the second love of your life!

  3. An old fashioned patchwork quilt made with love, now where have I read about something like that??
    by the way super cool, are those lilies on Brad’s birthday patch?? I can never remember what May flowers are

  4. I love the dragon square and love that your Dad made it!! Awesome quilt.

  5. Kelly – I could use a good afghan, and as a knitter, and not a quilter, I think there are no more hand-made quilts in my future.

    Marcy – Thank you. You are the 2nd love of my life. I wonder if I’d have gotten the quilt if you’d been #1?

    Brad – the flowers are Lilies of the Valley (and mine should really be violets, not primroses, but whatevs)

    claire – I KNOW! that is the best square ever. Also, the best dad ever, IMHO…of course, I am a BIT biased.

  6. That is fabulous !

    SIlly

  7. Amy,

    What a lovely quilt!

    I just realized that I’ve been remiss in my duties and have not sent you the customary fish-slice. Unfortunately, finding a silver-plated fish-slice in this benighted age is nearly impossible.

    Since I live in Seattle and there are even more Norwegians (and Swedes, Finns, and Danes) than you could shake a lefse stick at, perhaps I should get you either the lefse griddle or the rolling pin.

    Alt for Norge! 🙂