Friday, October 1, 2010

Bye Gram, I Love You

It was finished in May of 2010, but was sent to jurying for Quilt National, but didn't get in.  Finally now I can post it.   It was made in memory of my grandmother who died in May 2009.  

Every week for 10 years I would go over to their farm and see them, to do some housework, or just  to visit.   I did this by myself, and then as I had my two sons, they would come with me.   And every single time, just as I was leaving,  I would kiss her cheek and say, 'Bye Gram, I love you'. 

She was the most remarkable woman I have ever known.  A farmer's wife to my grandfather, a fabulous cook, a loving grandmother, and of course a quilter.   Her grandchildren and then great grandchildren were her greatest joy.   She was always so excited to see us.  Everything about her was fun, whether you were in her kitchen doing dishes or peeling apples, or playing euchre, you were smiling.

This quilt was made from her blouse and a sleeper that both boys wore when she held them.   The clothing is stuffed to give it more of a 3D appearance.   The yarns couched into the background were from a sweater that she was unravelling near the end of her life.  She was so thrifty and environmentally friendly.  Decades beyond her time.

And the buttons.... there is a story.   The yellow buttons, quite a few of them, represent how sunny and happy life was when she was alive.   The orange ones, not so many, show the time of her dying and how painful that was for us all.  And the red, all the red buttons, that is to represent all the love she left behind for us.  

She witnessed my birth, watched me grow up, celebrated my marriage, cherished my children, and I held her hand when she died. 

Bye Gram, I Love You


ann said...

This is absolutely WONDERFUL! I have no clue as to why this didn't get in to QN. Makes me think I do not want to waste my money.

Judys Fiber Art said...

Enjoyed seeing your quilt. Enjoyed reading your story. You were fortunate indeed to have such a grandma. I had one of those also. She was a quilter.

Michigoose said...

How lovely! What a wonderful testament to your gram!

Tanya Brown said...

That is unbelievably poignant.

I think that if she knew, she'd be touched. It's good to have touchstones like that, things which evoke memories of loved ones.

Chris Predd said...

Jackie, I am happy to have seen your work and read your story. I know your Gram sees your work and is smiling remembering you as well.
Chris Predd

Sherrie S. said...

This is a beautiful tribute. Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful person and you are so lucky to have such memories to cherish. (I got the skinny e-mail too.)

Diane said...

Memories are sacred and you have many and this quilt to cherish.Your Gram is looking down and so proud of you. I can see her smiling !

Marilyn Wall said...

Jackie, please enter this in Sacred Threads it is a perfect piece for that venue.

Linda said...

You must miss her so much. Cherish her memory always - she was a wonderful grounding for your life.
Terrific use of symbolism in the quilt!

Judy Martin said...

HI jackie

This quilt is lovely, and so is the flower one. You have been producing so much new work. Congratulations on finding your voice so early in your career.

The Quilt National catalog is one of the things that makes that show so wonderful and such a record of contemporary work. I've tried for years to get in - I have not tried every single time, but I would say at least 4 times before this year and nada.
I talked to a quilter who got in and she told me that art quilters just had to get better - and I took that as my own mantra. Work harder - get better.

Seems like you are working so hard, and you are getting better with each quilt. In two years, look out Quilt National! Here comes Jackie.