December 3, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Grandmother’s Gift

By Amy Senatore

Amy Senatore

Amy Senatore

Quite a few years ago, I inherited a stash from my grandmother, as so many of you have.

My husband is in the moving business, and when he moved my grandmother’s sewing room – yes, her entire sewing room – from Washington state to Kansas, he decided that it was too much to fit into the house. So the tubs and tubs of fabrics, notions and patterns, along with three bookcases full of books, went into storage.

Every year, around my birthday or Christmas, I would tell him to just go into the storage container, pull out two boxes and call it my present.

Well, he never did that. So when he retired from that company and he had to let go of all the free storage space, all of it came home in one big package. We had forgotten just how much was in there.

s fabric

My grandmother was kind enough to mark each container and had things separated for the most part: 3-inch squares, 6-inch squares, “Sew and Sew trading of 6” x 12” pieces,” etc. At some point, she had even started separating them by color.

Her stash included three notebooks of names and addresses of people she traded with: blocks, fabrics, birthday colors and special things that they were searching for. One of her books has a tab for each state.

GG notebook

What I came to realize, though, is that maybe Grandmother was not as good at organizing as I thought. While looking for a pattern for a friend, I found – stuck inside a pattern book – a picture of my great-grandfather in his service uniform. I wonder what other surprises I’ll find tucked away.

Grandmother also traded blocks with people in other states. Here is a picture of the quilt she made of blocks people from every state signed and sent to her.

GG United States block trade

GG United States block trade detail
Imagine how much fun it would be to exchange blocks from all 50 states.

Grandmother also traded with people around the world. I found letters and fabrics from France, Switzerland and Israel, to name a few of the countries.

GG Israel trade

GG Switzerland trade

A member of my quilt guild was going through a bundle of 6-inch squares that I had for sale and noticed writing on the back of one. We went through the package and found another one.

GG front of fabric

GG back of fabric

My friend Donna di Natale did a little research and found that the fabrics were from South Africa. I’ll let her tell you about that next week.

Guest blogger Amy Senatore is a quilter and owner of an online quilt shop, City’s Edge. She lives in Fairway, Kansas.

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