When I hold a quilt made by one of my ancestors I can almost feel a physical connection with her, almost as though she's giving me a hug. Quilts pass through the hands of their makers again and again, from washing and ironing the fabric, to cutting the pattern pieces, to stitching the layers together with needle in hand, as the quilter creates something to warm and comfort a loved one. Even the most humble quilt has an endearing quality because of the time, care, and effort one of my foremothers took to create it. Quilts become fragile with use, often ending in tatters and shreds, then discarded. I'm grateful to have several that have withstood the years of use.
My sister-in-law, Jan, made this sampler quilt for my older daughter when she was a baby a little over 30 years ago. Jan's avocation was quilting and she dedicated many hours to the craft. She was meticulous in pattern and fabric preparation, making sure each piece of fabric was cut on the square. All of her quilts were handmade from start to finish. No rotary cutter for her. She used paper patterns and cut the pieces with scissors, then stitched each quilt by hand. Jan became so proficient that she was awarded a grant to teach apprentices the craft that she had so carefully and skillfully mastered. This quilt warmed and cuddled two babies and is still in excellent condition.
I'm grateful for the connection quilts provide to these relatives I knew and to a grandmother I never had the opportunity to know in person.
This is a post for the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge created by Alona Tester of Genealogy and History News. Thank you for hosting, Alona.