Friday, October 6, 2017

Grandma's Kitchen, block #15: Games Shows and Soaps

It's week 15 of  Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen quilt along. Only ten blocks left! I can already tell that I am going to miss these weekly trips down memory lane. The name of this week's block is Game Shows & Soaps. 

As usual, I veered off a bit from the TV theme into one of my Gramma Ann's favorite ways of spending time: playing cards.

While Gramma did watch TV--she loved Dr. Oz, Touched by an Angel, and Texas Ranger--I'm starting to feel pressure to focus on the things that really defined Gramma's personality. (Pat, if you are looking for ideas, I have a list for you!)

As I have been working on each block, my mom and aunts have been sharing stories and snippets, many of which are new to me, and that I will now remember as I look at this quilt. What I didn't realize is how much this quilt will also mean to my son. 

Last picture of D and Gramma Ann, September 2012. 
D was three the last he saw Gramma and five when she passed away. He remembers her because we show him pictures and talk about her, but his own memories are getting dim. The blocks for this quilt live on the large design wall in our laundry room, next to my craft room. The other day I was working in the craft room while D was getting ready for bed. He came into the laundry room with his dirty clothes, and I heard him talking out loud as he looked at each block and recited the memories he knew that were instilled in each one, and asked for more information about the ones that were unfamiliar. Gramma lives on.

When I was girl, probably close to D's age, I spent a week one summer at Gramma and Grampa's house in Blackduck while our dog had her puppies. I was young enough that I thought it was fun to be in that little town of 600. Gramma and I ran a garage sale, baked lemon bars, and I walked all over down exploring the library, running errands, and enjoy summer freedom. But the highlight of the week is that Gramma and Grampa deemed me old enough to grown up card games. Grampa taught me how to play widow whist, and the three of us played every day. 

I'm actually not sure what game Gramma is playing with my Aunt Terri and Uncle John. It's the only photo I could find of Gramma playing cards.
As an adult, maybe after Grampa passed, our game changed to Gin 13. It's now I game I play with my family. One of D's favorite family traditions is that we play a card game or board game most nights with dinner. It's a tech-free way for our family to connect and draw out our time together. I love it. And it started with those games of widow whist 30some years ago.

Gramma also enjoyed casinos. In fact, more than once our holiday gatherings were held in a casino. Lots of food and no clean up. The adults were happy. And I'm sure it helped that there was alcohol and slot machines. Oh, and family!

It's been interesting how this project is, on one hand, an ode to the past, but I continue to be surprised at how rooted it is, also, in the present. My half a modern block is inspired by the Delft wallpaper in Gramma's kitchen of the 50s and 60s. The block was announced when we were in the Netherlands. The next week's block, Cups & Glasses, made me think of the Bailey's Irish Creme Gramma loved. It was announced when we were in Ireland. 

While I was waiting for this week's block to be announced, I was reviewed my list above and wondering when I could work in the playing card block fabric I bought shortly after Gramma passed in 2014 for the memory quilt I would "someday" make. 

Then on Sunday night, October 1, 2017, a shooter killed 58 concert-goers in Las Vegas and injured hundreds more. This tragedy has been weighing heavy on my heart, and when I see the cards in Gramma's block, I will remember the happy hours we spent playing cards together. But I will also remember these sad days when our nation is mourning.

For my quilter friends reading this, the Las Vegas Modern Quilt Guild is collecting blocks and  quilts to distribute to survivors, family members of victims, and first responders. You can find more information here.

I'm trying to decide if I have time to make the quilt that came to mind as I was praying for those involved, or if, after making four hurricane relief quilts, a memory quilt, and a cancer quilt, I need to make a nice happy baby quilt or finish the wedding quilts in my to do queue. Who am I kidding? I'm sure I'll make this Cards & Cowboys quilt.

Tutorial for Cowboy Book blocks here. Card trick block tutorial here
To end with a little bit of happy, I have updated the three blocks I wasn't content to keep so I'm all caught up.

Previous blocks:

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

Linked to:
Pat Sloan (Click here to see more Games Shows & Soaps blocks)
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
BOMs Away @ What a Hoot Quilts
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Let's Bee Social #198 @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River
Link Party @ Tweety Loves Quilting
MCM #91 @ Cooking Up Quilts
Midweek Makers #93 @ Quilt Fabrication
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework
Show Off Saturday @ Sew Can She
Wednesday Wait Loss #36 @ The Inquiring Quilter
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
WIPs Link Up @ Silly Mama Quilts
WIPs on Wednesday @ Esther's Blog
Works in Progress @ Silly Mama Quilts

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  1. I'm not sure I've ever commented on your blog before, but I wanted to let you know I've been reading your Grandma posts and enjoying them so much! My family also enjoys games and cards and we play during dinner, too! Our kids are grown now, but we still play games whenever we're together!

    1. I'm glad you posted. Gramma was a very special person. I'm so glad others are getting to know her through this quilt along!

  2. love your blocks and story....

    thanks so much for linking up!

  3. It's so precious that your blocks have so many memories attached to them and that your son can share in those memories. I'm looking forward to seeing your completed quilt!

  4. Beautiful block! Perfect way to incorporate another loving memory! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Hi Jen,
    I just love reading your memories of your grandma and how they relate to these blocks. This will always be so special to you and now your son - and the best part is sharing all these stories with him and your aunt and mom. ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. I really enjoyed reading your memories here. I hope you are writing down, or in some way recording, every story that comes your way. Things that you think you'll remember, you won't. Now, while people are reminded of stories they'd forgotten, as you discuss things, please, please write them down for your family history and for your children to always have. Write your own stories while you are at it. You are living your children's history - they will want to know what you thought and felt in these times.

  7. Ahh. My week is complete because I've read another installment of your Grandma's Memory quilt. I'll miss it too, when it ends! But what a journey. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

    1. Oh! Your comment made my day! I'll be sad when it's done, too!

  8. Love the stories you share of your grandma. It seems these blocks are a perfect fit to showcase her personality. Maybe you'll just have to dream up some of your own to add to the mix, just in case there's something about grandma that hasn't been told.

  9. This post is magical and brings back wonderful memories of my own grandma. Thank you for sharing your memories and tying together the quilting to your family. Beautiful.

  10. Oh my gosh, that is so sweet about your son going over the memories in the blocks on the wall.


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