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Crafts
By Donna Flood

Grandmother Loved Quilts


     Grandmother's bedroom was always at the front of the house except when they lived in the house with three stories. Her bedroom was on the second floor then. Didn't matter that no one ever saw her bedroom;  it was always neat and tidy. The shiny dark floor made the white quilt on her bed most attractive. I used to love to slip up the side stair to the room to wander about quietly while taking in the effect the room had on my mind. Somehow it gave me a cared for feeling. It was like Grandmother had made the bed so perfectly, polished the floor carefully and straightened the matching white curtains all for me. I only touched  the quilt as I crept around the bed being careful not to leave any roughed up places on the bed. Grandmother was very strict about making sure no one rumpled the bed after she had made it up. No matter that someone might want to feel the softness of it, Gramma with a glance could make a point and that was, “stay off this bed.”

     When the big old three-storied house got to be too much for Gramma to clean they moved to a smaller house and it was here she had her bedroom directly behind the wide,  front porch window. The long wind chimes kept a merry, minor note as they swung back and forth while the constant prairie winds kept them in motion. This time the black, tall bedposts were even more visible against the white and black wedding ring pattern of her quilt.

     “Come on, Missy! Time you learned to make a bed.”  Gramma didn't care that a child's small hands could barely tuck in corners and smooth the top of a bed. She demanded you work in whatever way it could be done.

      “Gramma, why do you like this old feather mattress? It is so hard to smooth it. One little tip of my finger makes a dent in it.” I didn't mind questioning my aging grandmother.

       “Don't you worry with that, now.”  Gramma always had short instructions and she definitely expected obedience, especially on this one matter.

      Gramma died with I was only nine years old but I never forgot her love for quilts and for making quilts. There was an understanding of love on the bed that was covered with a quilt. Even a child could feel the strength of it. So today when my life is divided by numerous chores I still take the time to, at least,  keep baby quilts made up for gifts. I've found there is nothing as appreciated as a hand-made quilt and in turn there is no joy any greater than giving that quilt.

      I can still hear the soft sounds of the wind chimes out side Gramma's window, the black and white wedding ring quilt on her dark, postered bed and with that memory I have peace. These were the quiet times with her while she taught me to use a needle by hemming tea towels, or to crochet string she had saved from packages wrapped with the bright colored ties. I'm a little disappointed  my own grandchildren are busy at the computer, playing soccer or basketball, or visiting on the phone with their friends to be interested in such  dull activities as I knew with my grandmother.

     “Ouch,” I exclaim as I bring the blood to my finger from my needle and I'm again reminded of Gramma's words.

     “Remember, always keep a thimble handy!”  For years I  was so angry with her for leaving me I wouldn't use one but I'm more at an accepting time of my life when I'm close to her age and it doesn't seem like such a bad thing now. I understand now, she had no say in the matter.


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