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Grandma's Labor of Love

For as long as I can remember I have loved fabric. My love began when my mother taught me to sew at about age 12. For many years—because my children were grown up and I did not take the opportunity to look for projects—I had not even looked at fabric. So I was unaware of the great advances that had been made.

 A couple of years ago, I went into my local fabric store to purchase fabric for a project and had the opportunity to feel the cotton. Oh, my gosh! It felt like silk. I could hardly contain myself! I just had to figure out something to sew! The love of fabric had once again been ignited. Luckily I had granddaughters who I could sew for. Wonderful!! 

Sew (so) as often as I can, I love to just go to the fabric store and look or window shop—and usually buy. Last fall I was in a local store here in Riverton and found some fabric that I thought would be perfect for my two granddaughters. They both would be turning 12 years old in 2013 and would be entering the Young Women’s program in our church. The fabric depicted the values in that program. I thought it would be a fun way for them to keep track of their progress.

I decided to hand quilt a small 36" x 36" quilt for each of them. Because I had not tackled hand quilting before, I was not aware of the time that would be involved to complete each project. I had also added an extra element—hand sewing beads on the flowers and birds. What was I thinking?!

One month before the first twelfth birthday rolled around, I began the process—cutting, pinning, and sandwiching the quilt batting between the back and the front.

I diligently began the hand quilting process. Each night when I got home from work I would work for two or three hours and spend as many hours on the weekend as I could. Needless to say, her birthday came at the end of February and Grandma had not completed the quilt. What would I do? I decided to carefully wrap the partially completed quilt and let her open it on her birthday. I then announced that I would have to take it home to complete it. We did give her another gift that made her happy—it was a tri-fold fabric folder (to match the quilt) where she could keep her Personal Progress books. So she was not too sad to give back the quilt! Two months later, I completed it and she again got to open her gift.

I used the Big Shot, our Beautiful Butterflies Bigz Die, Designer Buttons (US/CA), and Vintage Faceted Designer Buttons, to help keep track of each value as they complete them.

Just after completing the first quilt, the process began again for the second quilt. On July 9, my second granddaughter’s birthday rolled around, and she received her partially completed quilt. She also received another gift that she was thrilled with—a tri-fold fabric folder like her cousin Jessica’s—for her Personal Progress books. Hopefully she was not too sad to let Grandma take the quilt home to finish it.

 Last Sunday she received her completed quilt. In the bottom corner of each quilt there is a rectangle that says, “Made Especially for You by Grandma Selma.” Personalizing your quilts makes them family heirlooms.

My husband asked me, if—knowing how much time they took— I would do it again. I thought for a nano-second and said: “Absolutely!” The quilts were a wonderful labor of love and would, in time, become family heirlooms.

Selma Galloway
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  • Cheryl Bauer

    Feb 09

    I just love the great job you did with your sewing