When I sat beside my grandmother in the farmhouse kitchen many years ago, stitching quilt blocks together as she told me family stories, I never imagined quiltmaking would play such a great role in my life...and then the lives of my daughter and granddaughter. At eight years old, I simply enjoyed this time spent with Nanny as we made quilts for my sister, brother and me.
Imagine my joy when, years later, I discovered my mom had saved the quilt Nanny and I made for my bed. I knew it was mine because my initials were embroidered in one corner. Now it's one of the quilts I display when I give talks about quiltmaking and quilt history.
My quiltmaking lay dormant after that for many years, until our country's Bicentennial Years of 1975-76. My mother, who operated a country general store, needed quilts for her customers.
"You have all those scraps from your dressmaking business," she remarked. "Why don't you make some quilts. Hazel can't keep up with all the quilt orders."
So my foray into the quiltmaking world had begun again.