Monday, October 30, 2017

Grandma's Kitchen, block #17: Pantry Goods

After a week off to play with the layout, we're are back to making blocks for Pat Sloan's Grandma's Kitchen quilt along! This is week 17--I've been working on this project for more than four months already!

The name of this week's block is Pantry Goods, inspired by the fall, and how many grandmas are finishing their canning and "putting up for the winter."

I don't remember my Gramma canning, and I don't remember a pantry in her Blackduck house, either. Although, it's possible she had some things stored in the scary part of the basement I avoided. She had really cool push-activated cabinets to store her things, and they entertained little me for hours when she would let me play with them.

I do love a good pantry. When we built our house 6 years ago, before I discovered quilting, cooking was my passion. We made a large pantry a priority. 

Though I don't can, my aunt Lori does, and just yesterday posted this picture with the caption, "Happy popping sounds going on. Last canning of 2017."

Lori is also our family historian. She has been a huge help with this project as she has shared photos and stories with me. She really came through with this week's block.

When I started thinking about how to fit the theme of pantry with Gramma Ann, I thought about how she weathered the depression as a young girl and World War 2 as a young bride. Those experiences influenced her views on money, spending, and saving. I often saw her washing out margarine tubs to re-use for storage, rinsing out plastic bags and drying them inside out, and carefully wiping and folding aluminum foil for re-use. One of my aunts reminded me how hen we'd travel, she would rinse her "grundies" in the sink. Her thrifty ways paid off. She traveled into her late 80s, and lived independently into her 90s.

But the story that immediately came to mind when I thought of "storing up" has to do with my Grandpa Leo. I believe the story goes that he was driving along the road in rural Minnesota where he served as game warden when he found several large rolls of pink and blue butcher block paper on the side of the road. (It's also possible he saw them fall off. I'm not sure). At any rate, he loaded them in his truck and from then on, he and Gramma used that paper to wrap every present they gave for the rest of their lives!

When I shared this memory with my mom and aunties, Lori said she STILL had a roll.

We are figuring that this paper must be about 50 years old!!

Lori is the youngest of the 5 Manthei "seesters." I'm told that she was often recruited to draw pictures on the paper when it was used as wrapping paper. My mom and aunts are all artistic, so this doesn't surprised me at all.

When we visited Lori a few years ago on our way to Russian camp,  she drew this picture for my aspiring rocket scientist.

For my block this week, I used pink and blue solid prints as a nod to that butcher block paper. I think Gramma would like that I used scraps of blue from a memory quilt I made earlier this year. The two "Nana's Last Gift" quilts were made after the mother of one of my son's classmates approached me to see if I could use her late mom's quilting stash. When I went through it, I found several log cabin blocks that I was able to reassemble into two quilts.

I'm still finalizing the layout so I can include photos, but here's my layout at this point.

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 Pantry Goods blocks)
BOMs Away @ What a Hoot Quilts
Design Wall Monday @ Small Quilts & Doll Quilts
Fiber Tuesday @ Quilting Room with Mel
Finished or Not Friday @ Busy Hands Quilts
Let's Bee Social #201 @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts
Midweek Makers #96 @ Quilt Fabrication
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt
MOP Monday @ Tweety Loves Quilting
Moving It Forward @ Em's Scrap Bag
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Off the Wall Friday @ Nina Marie
Oh Scrap! @ Quilting is More Fun than Housework
To Do Tuesday @ Stitch All the Things
Wednesday Wait Loss #39 @ The Inquiring Quilter
WIPs on Wednesday @ Esther's Blog
WIPs Wednesday @ Silly Mama Quilts
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

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  1. These are the best stories, as you share your progress on this project. My grandmother was super-thrifty in the exact same way, and I vividly remember her doing the same actions you describe. She didn't have huge rolls of paper, though. :)

  2. Love that happy popping noise that comes with canning. And your memories of your grandma make me smile.

  3. I love the story behind this block! That's a lot of paper to use for 50 years and still have that much left...Wow! I dont' can, but always loved watching my grandparents do their jam canning in the summer. I really love the fabrics you chose for your block, and the reasons for them. Thank you so much for linking up with To-Do Tuesday this week!

  4. Love the story on those roles - thanks for sharing!

  5. Ah yes, the memories your story is bringing back! We would count the number of canning jars and then happily tick off when each one popped.

  6. Wow, that butcher paper sure has come in handy! Amazing that you all still have some of it. Thanks for linking up to Wednesday Wait Loss.


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