What’s Your Story? – Grandma’s Hands by Michele T.

BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. Today’s story is just that – a story of connection in quilting.

“The first quilter I ever knew was my maternal grandmother, Catherine.  She died in 1966 when I was only 12 years old, and I miss her still.

By the time I was born, she had four grandsons but no granddaughters, so when I came along, Grandma embraced me as her very own special blessing.  She was my safe haven in a life that was often tumultuous and unpredictable. When I was with her, I felt wrapped in a blanket of unconditional love that was as comforting and warm as the patchwork quilts she made. 

As I look back on the influences in my life and ponder the beginnings of my own interest in craft and design, I remember snuggling under the quilts my grandmother made and being mesmerized by the multi-colored patchwork. I began to formulate my own understanding and love of colors, shapes, and patterns as I scrutinized the blocks.

Grandma didn’t watch me grow up and learn to quilt but I feel connected to her as I sew, and I savor memories of our time together. As I age, I’ve noticed that my hands have begun to look like hers. They are not the hands of a model in a dish-soap commercial.  They’re work-hardened, with short fingers, knobby knuckles, and ridged nails that refuse to grow without splitting or cracking.  As a result, I’ve never liked them much.  But as I spend many joyous and peaceful hours creating beautiful quilts for the people I love, I am learning to look at them in a new light. I can appreciate my hands, Grandma’s hands, not only for the memories they recall, but especially, for the beautiful and loving memories they may help to create.”

-Michele T.