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Showing posts with label quilts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quilts. Show all posts

Friday, February 27, 2015

Crazy Quilt Comfort

My recent surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon is 9 days past now, and I am thankful for all the ways my family and friends have cared for me. I love reaching for this crazy quilt made by my maternal grandmother, Mary Clyde Curley Terrell. I have another one which has more silky taffeta and fancy fabrics, but this one speaks comfort to me with its patches of checked wool, bright colored corduroy, and flannel. Most of all I love her embroidery stitches outlining each patch, briar stitch, blanket stitch, feather stitch, and cross stitch. I can picture her fingers carefully choosing the floss, separating it, and threading through the eye of a needle.  I can see her stitching each seam line. In her later years, she was no longer able to see to thread a needle, so my mother would thread several needles with different color threads so that Grandma would have one ready if she needed to mend something or replace a missing button.   

Friday, August 15, 2014


As Nora nears 5 months old, she is increasingly aware of color and patterns.  She is more sensitive to faces, smiling at those familiar to her and exhibiting wariness or alarm at those who are not. She fingers spots and dots on toys, reaches for the bright paisley of my shirt and the textured wood panel of her changing table. Here, she is fixed on the butterfly quilt that belonged to one of the grandmothers she is named for, Opal Terrell Teal.  As I smiled and watched her admiration, I thought of so many stories the quilt could tell.

Opal was my mother, making her Nora's great grandmother.  The butterfly quilt was made as a gift for Opal on her 17th birthday in 1931, a common pattern choice in those depression years that so needed the butterfly's symbolism of hope.  The women who chose these colors and patterns and stitched every tiny, even stitch were Opal's mother and grandmother, making them Nora Opal's great-great grandmother and great-great-great grandmother.  I stood as I watched Nora admire their handwork, thinking of their stories and hers.  They could not have known that almost a century later, a beautiful little girl would so love what they made. But I am confident they know now.  Opal herself did not know when she passed the quilt on to me how I would keep it and love it and give it again.  But I know she joins Clyde and Earnestine in blessing Nora and returning the admiration. Hope is a wonderful gift to pass on.