#WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 3 - The Quilt My Grandmother Made For Me - Doodlewash

The Quilt My Grandmother Made For Me

Today’s prompt is “pattern” and that made me think back to the first quilt my grandmother made for me when I was a kid. I wasn’t even sure where it was in the house, but finally found it sitting in the corner of a closet. It’s pretty tattered and worn now, with frayed edges and bits of fabric dangling precariously in certain sections. As I sketched, I found myself gently restoring it to its original state square by square, as my mind took me back to that wonderful moment when I first received it. It’s not that I didn’t take good care of it, of course. It’s simply a natural side effect that happens to childhood things when they are well and truly loved. The quilt is a delightful cacophony of blaring shapes and colors, assembled in a perfectly random fashion that somehow begins to form back into a pattern. It was crafted from bits of recycled fabric, some from old dresses my mother used to wear and others from items that had simply outworn their original use. And it was my constant companion throughout my school years, guarding me through the flu and chicken pox while cuddling me through restful naps.

As I grew older, and taller, the quilt grew much smaller. Where once I could completely cocoon inside it, I now had to settle for something to drape across my legs. But it always managed to provide the same comfort. It was, after all, still like I was getting a hug from my grandmother. She lived miles away, but I could always study those patterns and they would take me right back to her. She’s gone now, and the blanket has become too fragile to use. Taking it back out again, all those memories came flooding back to me. Both the wonderful thoughts of her, but also moments of no real importance at all. Just the feeling of being cuddling up under on the couch watching some silly show on television. I draped it around me first like a cape for a moment before folding it back into place for this sketch. It’s funny how the first memories the quilt brings back to me are only the simplest. Nothing dramatic or indeed eventful at all. Just a warm feeling of comfort that blankets me with memories of love.

I gently put the blanket back in its place in the closet, but the memories are still spinning through my mind. Looking back, I now realize that each time I was with my grandmother, she also gave me something more than my young brain could ever process at the time. She taught me everything from how to pick gooseberries to how to milk a goat, the latter of which I was rubbish at, by the way. But as she was teaching me these skills I would end up never requiring again, she was also teaching me much more. A steady approach to life that comes with an earnest heart and a positive attitude that never falters, no matter what may come my way. Each moment with her, she added a piece of knowledge that connected with the last to create a tapestry of wisdom that I still hold close to me today. And though objects might bring back memories, I now suddenly realize that, in the end, those wise and wonderful moments themselves were actually the quilt my grandmother made for me.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Manganese Blue, and Cobalt Blue.  Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
 #WorldWatercolorGroup - Day 3 - The Quilt My Grandmother Made For Me - Doodlewash


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42 thoughts on “The Quilt My Grandmother Made For Me

  1. I love your quilt and I love your story. Families spread out these days, often living States or as in the case of my family, countries away. At least, we have the phone and internet to stay in touch. How terrible it must have been to move away knowing you’d probably never see your family again. Many couldn’t even write and communicate that way. Communication with family-another simple thing that we should take time to appreciate because it isn’t available to everyone.

  2. What a beautiful memory and painting! I had a favorite grandmother that taught me so much as well as bringing music and laughter into all of our lives…wonderful, wonderful memories.

  3. This is the kind of story that all of us quilters are hoping for when we give someone a quilt! We want it to be something that provides warmth when you’re cold, entertainment when you are sick, ideas when you are bored, and comfort if you are down. She would be so happy to know how much you treasure it.

    1. Aww this comment makes me so happy!! Yay! Quilting is such an amazing thing and so rich with memories! So happy you enjoyed this post and so thrilled you’re making people smile with your quilts! 😃💕

  4. Beautiful story, Charlie, and what a wonderful quilt of memories and comfort your grandmother created for you! No wonder you feel/felt warm and safe beneath it– it was stitched with much love.

  5. My grandmother made a flannel quilt that I loved to pieces… literally. It was the softest blanket around as a kid and I remember many naps cuddling underneath it. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories and delightful painting, Charlie! 💕😍 Takes me back in time. ❤️

  6. What a wonderful story about your grandmother, and that’s the best thing about painting the beautiful quilt she made you. The relationship between the two of you is what she really sewed and you’ll have it forever, and now we have it also, because you’ve shared it with us.

  7. Quilts are really like time capsules, at least the ones made by our grandmother’s generation, using the fabrics of their lives. And the love is still in each stitch. Beautiful, Charlie.

  8. Really a nice memory and a beautiful painting of the quilt your grandmother made so lovingly for you. These kind of treasures aee the best.

  9. As a quilter who has made many quilts for family members upon weddings, graduations, and new babies, it was delightful to read about a “Grandma” quilt that is still cherished and loved. Thanks for sharing.

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