Your Grandma’s Needlework

In the past several years, there have been a slew of books/websites/crafty things whose only claim to fame is the following phrase: “Not Your Grandmother’s (fill in the blank of your favorite fiber art here)”. While I can certainly sympathize with disinterest in making a billion fscking doilies, or a ton of embroidered tea towels with purty flowers, I think you could do worse than take another look at ol’ Granny’s work.

I’ve been thinking about posting this ever since my great-aunt sent us a quilt for our daughter. Auntie J will be 86 in August (I think), and has been quilting since long before I was born. Here are a couple of pictures of “Granny’s quilting”:
Big Girl has an oddly-shaped room, so I had a hard time taking a long shot of it on her bed. It’s a full-size/double quilt, machine pieced and hand quilted. We have an entire family of cat fanatics, my daughter not being an exception, so that determined the quilt’s theme.
This is the center block. The outline was hand-quilted – as were all the kittens, including these:
My apologies for the sucky focus. I think the photographer needed a nap or something. The outline is one of my great-aunt’s favorite characters: Rita Mae Brown’s mystery-solving cat, Sneaky Pie. Murder mysteries are a big favorite with lots of my family, including Great-Aunt J.

The women on my mother’s side of our family were way into needlecrafts of all kinds. In fact, I’ve got some of my grandmother’s pattern books from the 1940s and ’50s that I’d like to scan; primarily so that they’ll still be usable in the future. Paper doesn’t live forever…


3 thoughts on “Your Grandma’s Needlework

  1. And I JUST posted about embroidering teatowels on my blog today. I’m properly chastised. 😉

    Beautiful quilt – thanks for showing it!

  2. Sorry about that! 😀
    For what it’s worth, I think if my Grandma had access to a pattern for a shrunken head, she would have knitted one. Or more…
    And thank you! I’ll be sending her the pictures this week.

  3. Nothing wrong with making tea towels, either…In fact, I’m trying to come up with a – goddess help me – calendar-thing for the kitchen wall. Maybe with some digitalis, angel’s trumpets, belladonna… 😀

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