Grandma Michels: My Family Quilting Heritage Part 2

Slightly less than a year ago, we said our earthly good-byes to my grandmother.  She survived a few months past the century mark, and she was ready to go Home.  I am so glad all of our children were able to meet her.

Grandma and the kids

She adored her great grandchildren.  I think that was a surprise to her.  After all, on the way to the hospital to meet my oldest son, she had this conversation with my sister.

Sheila: “Grandma, are you excited to meet your first great-grandchild?”

Grandma: “I don’t know.  I wasn’t that excited about meeting you kids for the first time.”

Gee, thanks, Grandma.  My Grandma was definitely honest.  Maybe a bit much so at times, especially in her later years.  Thankfully we could usually laugh at her comments.  She was in her 60’s when I first met her.  Much more active and into lots of projects.  Including a beautiful flower garden.  And into making quilts.  Lots of them!

Grandma star quilt

When I was around 12, I decided that I wanted to make a quilt with her.  So, she let me pick out fabric scraps.   I started sewing and sewing and sewing.  For a few hours I kept at it.  Then suddenly having my own homemade quilt no longer mattered.  That was hard work.  Below is pictured my one and only quilt.  Yes, the small sorry looking squares that would have looked even more pathetic if my Grandma had not kindly sewed on backing.  I did not exactly inherit her sewing skills.


I managed to “quilt” 16 whole squares before quitting.

Thankfully my Grandma kept on with her quilts.  We have a wonderful collection of family heirlooms.  A quilt is truly a work of art.

Grandma's Quilts

When we were teenagers, we requested that Grandma make each of a quilt for a wedding present someday.  She lived long enough to personally present each of us with that gift.  My butterfly quilt is hanging on a special quilt rack in our daughter’s room,so I see the masterpiece often.  (And I have already had to explain to my daughter that the quilt is not going with her someday, at least not right away! 🙂

Grandma's Quilt Gifts

I am thankful that my Grandma invested her time into leaving pieces of herself and the past into gifts that will last.  I am even more thankful that she invested her lives in us.  And her prayers – that is really what has kept us from unraveling over the years.  I miss her!

thankful tree

Categories: Lewis and Clark, Nebraska History, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Grandma Michels: My Family Quilting Heritage Part 2

  1. CathyB

    I loved these posts about your quilt history! I did have to laugh at your quilt–not at all making fun of it. But because I think I recognize a lot of the fabric. The fabric choices were so limited when we were kids. Not like today with the oodles of quilt shops and facric designers. Thanks for the trip down memory lane this morning! 🙂

  2. Yep, the backing was leftover from a tablecloth that adorned my grandma’s dining tables for years. And I am guessing that my Grandma gave me scraps that did not really matter. I am sure she recognized that my stint at quilting was going to be short-lived. You must be an actual seamstress. I would say that I would enjoy learning for you, but I have long determined that I am a LOST cause! 🙂

    • CathyB

      I can sew a seam but it’s not a big passion of mine. My mom, however, made a lot of our clothes growing up. I pretty sure I had a blouse made out of the red and white gingham. My sister had a matching one navy and white. We used to take the scraps to our grandma and she would help us fashion doll clothes out of them. Great memories!

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