Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Grandma's Kitchen, block #8: Grandma's Apron

At long last, I am all caught up with Pat Sloan's weekly mystery quilt, Grandma's Kitchen. I'm slightly out of order with this block for reasons I'll explain below. Say hello to block # 8, Grandma's Apron.

Pat's inspiration for this block came from her followers, who overwhelmingly shared memories of their grandmother's aprons.

I don't really remember Gramma in an apron, although she is wearing one in the photo I shared at the beginning of this project, of her in her old kitchen.

Ashley Lungren, who is also participating in this quilt along, shared her take on Grandma's Apron, which is Grandma's duster.

I was immediately smitten with this idea. Ironically, I only learned the word duster a few weeks ago when my Aunt brought my Gramma's duster with her on our trip to Europe.

As I looked through my photos of Gramma this week, as I do after the reveal of each new block, I found several photos of Gramma in her favorite duster.

Talking to a loved one on the phone, probably one of her daughters on Mother's Day.

And this one, where she is listening to my son chatter about something. At that stage, probably Thomas the Train.

My fabric stash leans modern with a lot of tonals and geometric patterns. My selection of pastels and florals is extremely sparse. I found one tiny scrap that I thought might work.

When I posted the block on Pat's Facebook page, it generated a lot of discussion, plus one comment that I forgot the sleeves. Argh....

I didn't have enough fabric to cut out a new duster, so I decided to go to my local Salvation Army to see if I could find a similar duster.

What I discovered is that Gramma was a smart old lady. I've been occasionally wearing an apron to keep threads and scraps from sticking to my clothes. But little bits would still fall down the front of the apron or around the side. A duster is just what I needed! So I bought this one to wear and not to cut up.  (We watched the solar eclipse earlier in the day so I have my NASA shirt and galaxy leggings on under my duster).

This is a good time to add that I bought a new car a few days ago. I started driving my 2006 Ford Fusion ever since I took it over from Niels when  I was pregnant with our son in 2008. It's been a great car and for years, I figured I'd buy a new Fusion when the time came to replace it. 

Living with a brain injury and dealing with vertigo and vision issues means that driving isn't a whole lot of fun for me. We decided to prioritize the things that would make me more comfortable driving, like blind spot monitoring, a rear camera, lane change alerts, and a quiet ride. As we looked at what was available in our area, I fell in love with a 2014 Buick Verano. I have never in my life felt so immediately comfortable in car.  Welcome to the family, Sparkles V!

And just like that, I became a duster-wearing, Buick driving quilter. The new joke is that I am 45 going on 80. But I have no regrets. I love my duster and I love my new car!! With a NASA stick for my little rocket scientist, an NL sticker for my Dutch hubby, and a new purple license plate holder for me, I'm ready to ride!

I did make another purchase this week that is a little more in line with my age. I love leggings and have been looking for a quilty pair forever. I found these at Joann and they hopped right into my cart!

Back to my block and my fun Auntie Lori--who also wears leggings--and Gramma's duster.

When she heard of my dilemma, Lori generously offered up Gramma's duster for me to include in the quilt. 

I had a bit of a moment making that first cut. But Gramma watched, and I think she approves.

I ended up making six blocks because I wanted to make the most of Gramma's duster. The other five are for a secret purpose yet to be revealed.

With that, I have two hours to spare before the next block in the mystery quilt is released! Here's where I'm at with nine blocks of 24 complete.

Previous blocks:

If you'd like to see what I'm currently working on, follow me on Instagram at de Jong Dream House.

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  1. Such sweet memories of your Grandma! Love the idea of the duster to keep threads off me while I sew. I have a feeling they will manage to get on my clothes anyway; I'm that kind of gal. Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss. I look forward to your stories every week.

  2. Excellent post. Full of meaning and memories and nods to folks who helped your project find its way!

  3. Love to see how you are using Granma's clothes - very creative blocks! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I think Gramma would be delighted to see that you're putting her duster to good use. Love your blocks and everything I've seen so far in relation to the Pat Sloan mystery.
    Congratulations on the new car! Happy sewing! Andrea

  5. Hi Jen,
    Thank you for sharing your grandmother with us. She looks like she loved life and would love that it you found a new way to keep that duster dusting on. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Beautiful blocks! What a special quilt this will be, with all the memories of your gramma stitched into it :)


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