Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Things We Leave Behind

My MIL passed away one year ago on June 14th, Flag day. She was 96 years young. DH and his siblings have been going through her things in preparation for a sale later this summer. The treasures of old family photos and letters and greeting cards, bibles, newspaper notices of deaths, births and wedding announcements have been pored over. The woman saved EVERYTHING! One of the interesting things SIL found was a list of every gift she’d ever given! And of special interest to me, she kept a list of every quilt she’d ever made and to whom it was gifted. I don’t recall ever seeing one of her hand-pieced, hand-quilted beauties on any of her own beds. We proudly own these—and they have each graced a bed in our home at one time or another.

DorothyWeddingRing

DorothyBazaarSquaresQuilt

DorothyBlueStar

DorothyBearPaw

They were not labeled so I am hoping her list will help me remedy that! I know approximately when each was made but would love to have better dating info.

This experience of digging through another’s belongings and wondering why items were saved has certainly made me think of the day when my loved ones will be faced with the same task. I really believe that DH and I must start culling through “stuff” to lighten the chore of our sons from those decisions of what to keep and what to donate, what is valuable and what is trinket-y. It is a daunting task, no matter who does it.

On a lighter note here’s Block 6 of Tisket, Tasket.

TisketTasketBlock6

This looks orange-y on my screen but in “real life” the basket is a softer peachy coraly color. I adore those coneflowers!!!!

And on the decorating front, I love to put some patriotic touches out (then leave them out!) from Memorial Day through D-Day, Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.

PatrioticDisplay

Isn’t that a little on the lazy side????

12 comments:

sewprimitive karen said...

Hey, I think that is a really good idea (leaving the patriotic items out). I need to cull, too. If my son and whoever had to go through this collection after I'm dead, they would bring me back to life just to kill me again lol.

Sharon said...

Your patriot display is NOT lazy. Every time you walk by and admire your crafts and treasures you connect to the meaning of these days. One day of flying a flag does not make a person patriotic, it's in your heart and home.
Sharon

Screen Door said...

I loved the quilts. Thanks for sharing - We all need to be better at documenting those 'quilt lives'.Love the patriotic decorations too. Haven't pulled mine out yet..

Teresa said...

Well, I do the same with my patriotic decorations. I think they just seem to go with summertime and picnics.

The quilts are so pretty and isn't it great that you have a way of finding out when they were made. How many quilts does she have on her list?

paula, the quilter said...

Are you going to make labels for the quilts you have by her? I hope so. I have been culling for quite a while now. All my parents stuff, my grandfather's stuff, my auntie's stuff. It is overwhelming. I have finally started on our stuff. Or at least my portion. Good luck to you on that.

Pen Pen said...

Your quilts are beautiful. when my grandmother died, a calendar was found where she recorded each time her grandchildren visited each year. (!) I felt guilty because my name wasn't up there very often. :o(

Libby said...

How wonderful to have not only the quilts made by your MIL but a record of all her gifts. It's good to see another example of why it's important to label our quilts . . . maybe we could look at it as a second gift *s*
I view this time of year as 'The Patriotic Season' so I decorate in much the same way - from Memorial Day though Labor Day (with some things lasting until the USMC Birthday 11-10 and Veteran's Day 11-11.) Talk about milking it *s*

Lorraine said...

what wonderful quilts to have and being able to label them will be fantastic - I thought the same as you when we were going thru Dad's things recently.....that I should cull my things a bit so the kids dont have too much stuff to go thru! My stitching GFs will know what to do with my large collection of goodies in my sewing room I suspect! Have a wonderful weekend!

AnnieO said...

I have my Grandma's quilts and I just sent pictures and a letter to her younger sister asking her some questions about them, since Grandma'a got vascular dementia and no longer knows she made the quilts. It would have been wonderful to have a written record like you found. My method is a like a coupon file that holds extra large size index cards and it gives me lots of room to document different stages of the quilts, even if I don't get a label made!

Stitch-n-quilt said...

Those quilts are just beautiful. Your MIL did a great job and I'm glad you have a few. I had a couple of quilts of my grandmothers, but have lost them since acquiring them. I didn't realized how much they would mean to me to make sure I kept my hands on them.

julieQ said...

I really love her record of which person received which quilt, that is so neat. Your treasures that are her quilts are just wonderful! I love you decorating, nothing lazy about it, just wonderful.

ROZ said...

I love the display. I made a "USA" wall hanging this year for just such occasions. The quilts are a treasure.