My grandmother, Daisy Holmes, would have been 103 years old today. She was a wonderful woman who crafted beautiful garments, made meals fit for royalty and who loved her family fiercely. A few years ago I wrote a blog post about her and why we quilt and I thought it was fitting to include the text here as it is her birthday. Happy birthday Grammy Holmes! You are missed.
Why Do We Quilt?
Today I’m thinking about my grandmother, Daisy Holmes, who was an avid seamstress, quilter, crochet enthusiast, and cook. On any given day, you could enter her home and be greeted with homemade bread, pies, cakes, and always a cup of tea. She spent hours cleaning the inside of her home, sprucing up the outside of her home, baking for family and friends, and crafting for the church fair. She grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick with many brothers and sisters in a time when it was considered the women’s duty to bake for and feed the working men. I’m sure that’s where she learned how to make that bread and sew.
Just like my own kids today, I wasn’t as appreciative as I should have been about my grandmother’s talents. I knew she made me beautiful clothing and she had the largest, nicest table of items at the church fair. Even her walk- in closets were filled to the brim with aprons, baby blankets, pillowcases, and other items she had made throughout the year. People often commented on her accomplishments and she was never one to brag or boast but she would gladly teach anyone who wanted to learn including myself. I had a fleeting interest in cooking and I did make a quilt with her when I was younger but I sincerely wish I had spent more time with her learning all that I could about what would become my own passion so many years later.
At the time my grandmother was excelling in her craft, I would bet only half of the tools and gadgets that are available now were around then. I can only imagine what she would think of how the industry has grown by leaps and bounds. The renewed interest in quilting would surely make her heart soar. I wonder which new notion she would love to try, which book she would like to have in her library (hopefully mine!), and which quilt show would inspire to go even further? I fondly remember the crazy quilt made of black velvet with rich orange and red fabrics and gold stitching that she made. At that time, I bet I thought it was crazy – who would make that? I couldn’t appreciate the absolute elegance of that quilt until many years later. I didn’t fully appreciate her until many years later. Maybe that’s the way life goes? Maybe that’s why we quilt? We quilt for personal enjoyment and we quilt for the smile our talents can bring to person be it a family member, friend, or a complete stranger. We quilt out of boredom, happiness, sadness, and we quilt for the desire to challenge ourselves and the excitement of learning something new. We quilt to leave a legacy to those who may not appreciate or understand our talents or the depth of our love but to those who surely will someday when they pick up a quilt we’ve made them and they touch it and smell it and feel our presence within each fiber. That is why we quilt.