Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Great-Grandmother's Quilt

My great-grandmother was an amazing woman. She had to flee Lebanon in the 1930's after my grandfather was killed for political reasons. She immigrated to the Pacific Northwest with four young children, the oldest of whom was my grandmother. My "Citty" (as we called her) had to figure out how to make her way and support her children in a foreign country where she didn't speak the language. Fortunately, she was very resourceful and good with her hands and was able to raise her children to be honest, hard-working, productive members of society.

She taught my grandmother to knit, who, in turn, taught me to knit. So, for that in and itself I am forever grateful. But, I also loved her for her gentle and loving nature. She seemed to be one of those people for whom adversity and sadness had distilled in her a sense of what is really important in life and she was generous in her relationships with others. One of her most obvious traits was that she could never just sit still and relax. She always needed to be doing something and so knitting and quilting became important activities for keeping her hands busy during her infrequent moments of "relaxation."

By happenstance I inherited a quilt top she made in the 1930's out of scraps of fabric from various items of clothing she'd made for her children and herself. She pieced this Star of Bethlehem together by hand but never finished it and it was found among her personal belongings when she died at age 92.

I was honored to inherit it, and since I am not a quilter I had a professional quilter finish it for me. It now hangs in my therapy office and I hope it brings a sense of comfort to my patients. I know it does to me. Thank you Citty!

The backing is a reproduction fabric from the 1930s. It depicts little girls in long dresses serving tea to little boys with waistcoats.


Anonymous said...

The quilt is beautiful, the story behind it too.

Frances said...

That is a beautiful quilt, and a great story. I also quilt, and hope that mine are as cherished one day.