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Hello from Sleepy Owl Studio!

If you’re visiting for the first time, welcome to Sleepy Owl Studio. And if, like me, you’re enjoying all the blogs participating in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I hope you’ll find something here that interests or inspires you to visit again in the future.

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For Gran ~

I have this quilt again. I washed it when I brought it home, so it smells like fresh laundry. Even so, when I wrap it around me I think tea and cookies and that helps a bit.

I made it 6 or 7 years ago for Gran. She was having trouble sleeping and she would get up every night and settle on the couch so she wouldn’t bother Grandad. So I quilted.

When I saw the fabrics, I knew immediately that they were meant for her.  Pretty pinks and sweet blues are her colors. While the star blocks were a traditional pattern, I designed the alternate blocks and the layout.  I made it before I had my HQ16, so most of the quilting is in the ditch. The motifs in the open areas are machine embroidery designs.

Gifting it to her made one of those perfect family days even better.

The amazing woman this quilt was meant for is mostly gone now.  Alzheimer’s has robbed her of her short-term memory and left her confused and miserable, locked in a terrible place.  The spitefulness of this disease cannot be described.

We cleaned out the house last spring, after Grandad passed away and we’d moved Gran to an adult family home. Jon found the quilt in their bedroom closet. I brought it home, and for a long time I couldn’t look at it, couldn’t decide what to do with it. It felt wrong to have it, but I knew that it would mean little to her now.

I know the power of quilts. I’m certainly a mindful quilter, and a quilt intended as a gift for someone has hours of love and pride and blessings stitched in.  My family understands that. I know Gran did on the day it came to her, and all the nights after that she used it.

And so it comes back to me. Now it brings comfort, and sweet memories, and a reminder that life is precious and fleeting. Like the harmonica we bought for Jon’s grandfather almost 30 years ago, that now sits on the shelf in a place of honor in Jon’s office, this gift is a reminder that she knew she was loved before it was too late.

29 Comments Post a comment
  1. Beautiful post. My mum had Ahlzheimer’s. I lost my best friend. I am so glad you have the quilt that you made for your gran. It is beautiful.

    Carol

    October 29, 2010
  2. I really like the colors that you used. It looks like a very COMFY quilt!!

    October 29, 2010
  3. I’m crying tears of joy and sadness at the same time, and I have chills. Your final paragraph is so beautifully written, and so, so true. I’m so sorry for your Gran’s current state of frustration and the pain it brings your family. Blessings and hugs. Gran’s quilt is gorgeous.

    October 29, 2010
  4. This was a great post!! I am really inspired seeing your fabulous quilt! Great combo of
    fabrics…..perhaps you were being ‘guided’ as you chose them!!

    October 29, 2010
  5. Beth tays #

    Hi—We have a quilt I made for my Mother. It’s great to look at it, and think of all the good times. Our Daughter-in-law has it now.
    Enjoyed our retreat together—Thanks
    Happy quilting—-Beth

    October 29, 2010
  6. Linda Gould #

    My darling girl, thank you for the beautiful thoughts and the love you put into Gran’s quilt. She needed it then and even if she doesn’t remember the quilt the love she feels all the time.
    I love you,
    Mom

    October 29, 2010
  7. Very touching story! This is a beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing!

    October 30, 2010
  8. What a special (and lovely) quilt and a special story!!! Thanks so much for sharing and it’s a perfect entry for the Bloggers Quilt Festival.

    October 30, 2010
  9. Elaine Bounds #

    The story of your grandmother touched me. I lost a dear friend with Alzheimers. She was just barely 60 yrs and was so talented. She was a College Professor, church pianist, clothing designer..etc. She couldn’t wait to have grandchildren…and her mind was totally gone by the time they started arriving. It is such a terrible disease. Hope you enjoy the memory of your grandmother when you see that beautiful quilt.
    Elaine

    October 30, 2010
  10. What a lovely story. Alzheimer’s is such a terrible disease. It is nice that you have the quilt to remember tea and biscuits.

    October 30, 2010
  11. Your quilt brought her so much pleasure, and was made with so much love.

    Stories like the one you shared with us remind me of all the loving stitches I have put into every quilt I’ve made. And it reminds me to be grateful for every moment we have with the ones we love.

    Your quilt is twice as beautiful as your pictures show because it has so much meaning attached.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us .

    October 31, 2010
  12. what a sweet post you’ve written here, thanks for sharing!

    October 31, 2010
  13. I can see why this quilt is special to you. It’s also a very beautiful quilt.

    October 31, 2010
  14. A gorgeous quilt for a beautiful lady. So sorry she has been afflicted with AD. Use the quilt to enjoy and remember the many wonderful moments you have had with her.

    October 31, 2010
  15. Beautiful!

    October 31, 2010
  16. Very pretty quilt! Thanks for sharing your story.

    October 31, 2010
  17. What a beautiful quilt and touching story to go with it. It sums up what quilting is really about I think.; love, comfort, family, memories.

    October 31, 2010
  18. I like how the blocks are on-point, it really does add a lot of character.

    October 31, 2010
  19. I’m glad you were able to pull it out and share it with us.

    October 31, 2010
  20. What a lovely quilt and a touching story. Glad it was able to comfort her and now you. Sending you both a hug. Thanks.
    Come see my 1890 antique schoolhouse quilt and
    black/white/pink scrappy miniature

    November 1, 2010
  21. I haven’t read the other replies, but your story of this quilt and your Gran brought tears to my eyes and I can hardly type. Thanks for sharing it.

    November 1, 2010
  22. hat a beautiful quilt with lovely memories!

    November 2, 2010
  23. I so can relate to your story – I made my grandmother a quilt a couple of years before we lost her suddenly in a car accident in 2003. My mother gave me her quilt back not long after she passed away, and for a long time, I did not want to touch it- it hurt too much. I know how much love she got from that quilt . Now I find it of comfort – I think that I still can feel her presence when I touch it somehow .
    Alzheimer’s is a dreadful illness- my mother in law has it – It was very hard seeing a bright talented woman who was a good friend to me slip away into another place.She has been in a safe home for the past 3 years. She is lost to us mostly – it is has been like losing her by the inch.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story and quilt. It is a treasure and represents so much love. May it bring you comfort and joy of memories of someone you love so dearly.
    Warmest regards,
    Anna

    November 3, 2010
  24. A lovely story and a lovely quilt. Thanks for sharing them both.

    November 3, 2010
  25. My Grandma suffered from senile dementia, a cousin to alzheimer’s. Oh my, your story brought a tear to my eye. My mom and grandmother quilted and I know that is why I love it so today. I do miss them so, but am glad to have treasured memories, that I hope will never go away.

    November 6, 2010
  26. Lovely quilt – lovely story!

    November 7, 2010
  27. Such a sweet story to go with a lovely quilt. Be sure there’s a label on it for future generations!

    November 9, 2010
  28. what a beautiful quilt and what a beautiful, sad and poignant story. wonderful you can have it and have happy memories of your grandmother with it. thanks for sharing your story and have a great day

    December 13, 2010

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