Wednesday, September 04, 2019

From Grandma Lucy With Love -

My step-grandma Lucy ignited my passion for needlework.

I was 14 when I became Lucy’s first (and eldest!) grandchild.  Blending families can be such a challenging and scary time – I bet for her also, as one day she didn’t have ANY grandchildren, and then BOOM! Just like that – she had three.  And me, a teenager at that!

She was a kindly woman whom I loved dearly.  I remember heading out to the dime store with her to choose coloring books – we washed the utility muslin until it was soft, cut it to size (with scissors! This was the early 1970s!) and traced the coloring book images with a pencil to stitch.

I LOVED choosing all of the colors of embroidery floss we would use.  Stem stitch and French knots, and sometimes satin stitch, though I could never get it as perfect as Grandma Lucy’s.

My step Aunt Joanne, Lucy’s daughter, passed away a few months ago.  When my step dad Gary went with his brother to take care of her house, several of Grandma Lucy’s quilts that had been living with Joanne came home to be distributed to the kids – 7 of us now total.

(Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of Mark’s passing.  He has been on my heart so much through my trip to Idaho and Oregon.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get through a Labor Day without remembering his passing.)

I chose this Dresden Plate quilt because I remember Grandma making it.  I remember her tracing the shapes, cutting them with scissors, joining them in rings and appliqueing them down to the background fabric. The prints are mostly cotton with some poly-cotton blends thrown in.  Remember – this was the 1970s and there wasn’t a lot of 100% cotton available.

It has a poly batting, and it is soft with use.  It’s going to live at Quiltville Inn where I can see it every day and remember a special Grandmother who so readily adopted me and called me her own.

Oh, mom! You crack me up!

I used the quilt as “packing material” to keep this sign my mom painted for Quiltville Inn safe in my suitcase!  SO SO SO funny!

I am planning on hanging this in the back entry.  I know I will find the perfect place.  And I know it will bring a grin, a chuckle, and a nod!  Thanks, mom.

Another of Grandma Lucy’s quilts -
Bonnet girls!

Do you see that satin stitch?


She was an incredible needle worker  I love the embroidered “ruffles” over the top of the skirt that you can barely see. And the bloomers and shoes!

More satin stitch – incredible embroidery!

And I love that she embroidered her name on the binding.

I wonder what she would think if she could just look down and see how her quilts and mine are found together in the homes of her posterity.

Jaxon’s Nine Patch!
Elizabeth’s Little Monkey!

Jaxon’s Nine Patch is available in the Quiltville Store as a digital PDF pattern.
Little Monkey is found under the Free Patterns tab at the top of the blog -

My sister in law Nicole has them displayed on a quilt ladder in her living room – so fun to see!

Jaxon and Elizabeth are growing so quickly!  And I love that I get to see them often enough that they know who I am.  

Elizabeth asked me time and time again if I could teach her to quilt, and I explained that we need supplies, and MORE TIME and we will do it.  The next time I go out there, I will be prepared with a stack of charm squares and a working sewing machine.

After all, her great grandma Lucy’s blood runs through HER veins.  She could probably out-satin-stitch me too, given half a chance and a few more years to grow up!

Stars Over Shallotte from Scraps & Shirttails II.

And Cruz – she’s 9 months old!

And she is such a good big girl!

Elizabeth & Jaxon -

At the 2019 Spirit of Boise Balloon Fest!

I love that my quilts go where they go -

(And their donuts look really yummy too –)

This is from the local CBS channel, showing what the kids saw on this early cool morning.  There are so many things to LOVE about Boise. (But not the winters – just not the winters!)

I arrived back up in Virginia by mid-afternoon yesterday.  There was a ton of work waiting for me at the Quiltville Post Office – and a van to unload of stuff I had brought up with me.

Orders started filling last night, they will continue today – and tomorrow I’m off to Pennsylvania through the weekend.  Go go go go!  The upside?  It’s my only venue this month. I don’t go again until OCTOBER.

Last night’s easy dinner on the porch.

Roast chicken and bag-o-salad ala Costco.  Works for me!

Glow of the QPO lights as I headed back after dinner.

And yes – I slept at the Inn last night!

It’s time to start making this place feel like a HOME instead of just a house – and I loved not having to drive to work this morning, just a quick walk across the yard.

On the agenda today – I’m recording a podcast for C&T!  I’ll let you know when it is available.

I’m packing everything I need for the retreat in Pennsylvania – we are doing Daybreak, and it’s going to be so much fun.  I’ll have time after class to work on my own projects as well, and I’m torn between what to take.  It would be so easy to just throw the bucket of strings and the many license plates that have been given into the van and concentrate on getting those done.  Or – there is that OTHER project that has a deadline.  What will it be?

Quiltville Quote of the Day -
Vintage spider web quilt shared by Kevin the Quilter.

Don't let the hard things of this world make YOU hard-hearted as well.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!


  1. What a legacy from Lucy - both tangible and intangible. Lovely.

    It was fun seeing a few of your less-often-seen quilts in their family's hands. Or paws.... Cruz looks just like my 2yo Nyota. Adorable!

  2. Sew great that you stayed the night in Quiltville Inn ..... remember your Shoo Fly Shoo blocks.....there are beginning to be stacks of them in many parts of this earth!

  3. I am so happy for you that you had the pleasure of knowing your grandmother. What a blessing to share something that brings so much comfort and love.

  4. Hmm, I wonder what that other project might be..... can't wait to start! I hope I can do it this year. I missed doing it last year and it is one of my favorites! We won't mention the 3 unfinished tops or close to finished tops I have from the "other project" laying around in my sewing room. But I love your yearly gift to us! You are special and we love you! Have a great day today. K- lkw2x6-apq@yahoo.com

  5. I love Your Grandma Lucy Quilts! What treadures. I remember using coloring book pictures for my oldest sons 1st quilt. Farm animals embroidered on muslin. Oh the memories of the 70's, before rotary cutters. Happy Wednesday.

  6. I learned embroidery the same way. And now my mom, 90, has gone back to it because she doesn't like the preprinted blocks. It was fun to see the coloring book pages she had saved.

  7. I loved the story about your Grandma Lucy. She obviously left an impression on your heart, along with the needlework skills.
    Have to mention--we were staying in Boise one night, years ago, on our way to visit a daughter, and happened to be able to see a part of the balloon festival. Very cool!

  8. Glad you had family downtime, and loved the Boise Baloon Fest, but missed you when you don't lose everyday. So happy the the Quiltville Inn is becoming a dream come true, the the QPO is easier for you, and you are having the time of your life seeing dreams come true! God is good. Laurie

  9. Thank you for sharing your heritage and the quilts that got you started. I have my great-grandmother's Sun Bonnet Sue made from feedsacks (bleached for backing) and feedsack fabric for the Sue's. I treasure it. She shared crochet with me, but until some years back I had no idea she was an avid quilter. It is in the blood!!

  10. Bonnie- I love your Grandmother's quilts. They remind me of the embroidery I learned as a child, and continue to this day; taking only two threads to a stitch.

    I LOVE Your mother's sign! I definitely gives one a chuckle. At times you are glad to see certain people leave!

    Have a wonderful day!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where the sun is shining today

  11. Wonderful post as always. I share the Labor Day reflection time with you Bonnie. 2 years ago today, my daughter took heaven's wings. I haven't regained my thirst to sew quite yet, but I do have a whole list of your designs on my waiting list! You are the one who taught me to piece a quilt and I learned so much from your Quilt Cams. Thank you. It has been such a pleasure watching you achieve your dream and approach your "retirement". Awesomeness!

  12. Well I guess we all need to thank your step-grandmother, because without her we wouldn't have learnt so much about piecing and having mysterious fun sessions! Her embroidery was super - and I love the Dresden plate quilt. Another one on my list - maybe one day I'll get to start and finish it! Many thanks. PS lovely to see the children enjoying their donuts - and an eager little beaver to learn with you!

  13. Your message brought back happy memories of my grandmother to me. When I was in first grade I remember sitting under the quilt frame as my grandmother and her friends quilted quilts. I loved watching the needle and their hands stitching those tiny tiny stitches. I can only imagine the smiles in your heart every time you lay eyes on your grandmothers quilt!

  14. I was first introduced to quilting by a dear family friend, already in her late 70's when I met her.She gave us a quilt as a wedding gift/a wedding ring design, of course!!I was so inspired by her beautiful small stitches and the quality of her work that I was incessant in talking about her works.One of my sisters went to art school and eventually received her Masters Degree in art. She said I had inspired her because of Aunt May's quilt.

  15. Thank you for sharing your personal stories with us Bonnie. Quiltville does look like a dream come true, as another commenter called it. I am astounded by your step-grandmother's satin stitch work on her Sunbonnet Sue blocks -- I really did believe it was done by machine at first look of your closeup. Shows how skills can be honed when perhaps we don't waste so much time watching television, perhaps. And reminds me of the embroidery I learned from my mother when I was a child... it feels like handwork went out of fashion in the 1980's-2000's, so I'm happy to see it making a comeback (for those who appreciate it). I'm hoping to get back into it once I finish collapsing two houses worth of "stuff" into one, as I buy my mother's house after she passed in May of this year, and sell mine. I'm sure I'll uncover similar treasures, as she enjoyed needlework and crochet too. Love your "Stars Over Shalotte" quilt, will need to buy myself that book. It's sunny here in Toronto today, so I'm heading outside soon to catch up on some overdue outdoor chores. Have a lovely day Bonnie ~Diana

  16. So sweet you got to choose one of her quilts! Wonderful memories!!
    How terrific you got to spend time with your nieces. Having extra people in their life right now is important!!


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