Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Grandmother (aka Nanny)

I had a request via the entries to the give-away to show some of the projects that my grandmother, who I called Nanny, made and show you a picture of her. Gladly will I comply with such a request!

My grandmother was such a great person. She was fiercely loving of her family, an amazing cook and probably the most talented crafter I have ever encountered. She could make anything that she put her mind to, yet still somehow thought that she wasn't good at anything. I think she must have had a very hard childhood to have such a view of herself and her gifts. I really miss going up to visit her and my Papa. No matter what hour we arrived, she would be waiting with a huge pot of potato soup simmering away on the stove. Egad, I miss her cooking! Food certainly equaled love in her house and she sure did love us!

Nanny did a variety of crafts and when she passed away, I took the job of going through her incredible stash of supplies. I will say, she was a bit of a packrat and if she saw something that she thought she could make something out of, it found it's way into the stash. The task took two or three days and often through the project I would pause and try to figure out what she had intended for a particular item or to marvel about a WIP (Work in Progress) that would never be completed. I'm so glad that I was allowed to be the one to do this, it was very cathartic for me. I brought home boxes upon boxes of yarn, supplies, patterns, books, etc.
Nanny taught me how to crochet at a very young age and I have been in love with yarn ever since. She never learned how to knit, claiming it was too difficult for her, but I know, had she tried, she could've made the most beautiful of things. Here are some examples of her crocheting:

This first one is an afghan she made for me as a child. I'm looking forward to Bean getting her "big girl" bed, so she will get to use it, too.

This is a king-sized (!) bedspread out of crochet cotton. It was made for my aunt and uncle and when they split, it somehow came to me. I am immensely grateful for that fact. I am not close with my cousins and am certain that none of them would appreciate the labor that went into that spread.

Here are some dolls that Nanny made for me when I was little. My mom is bringing them over tomorrow for Bean. I hope she likes them!

Nanny was also incredibly talented with a needle and thread and made beautiful quilts.

This one she made for me and it is king-sized. When my brother got engaged, she gave him a king-sized quilt, I asked her when I would be getting one. She responded that it would be when I got engaged. Imagine my surprise when two months later for Christmas, I got this beauty. My mom said the day I asked her for one, she dropped all her other projects and got to work on it. I'm so glad she relented about her "engagement rule" for me because, unfortunately, she did not live to see me and Hubby get engaged or married. Just a note, Nanny always pieced her quilts on a machine, but she quilted them by hand. Pretty impressive for a lady who suffered extremely painful arthritis!

This is the Lone Star quilt that has been on my parents' bed for years.

And the Yo Yo quilt. Also king sized. I'm pretty sure I contributed some of the stitching on these yo yos, and speaking from experience, that is one time consuming project. She also made pillow shams and used some yo yos to embellish Mom and Dad's curtain sashes.

And the last quilt she made. Mom found it in her things. It was just the top and Mom had it quilted. My mother has inherited my Nanny's skills as a quilter, but she doesn't do the quilting by hand. She's like me, she hates the "finishing"!

Lest you think that Nanny was limited to just two types of crafting, here are a couple of her other projects.

These are Time Out Babies. They are wearing clothes that were mine and my brother's when we were little. The little girl carries the kewpie doll that my grandfather brought to me in the hospital when I was born. The little boy is wearing a flight suit because my dad was a flight surgeon when my brother was little.

And this is the family portrait Nanny made. Remember, this woman suffered greatly from arthritis, yet she took tiny scissors and cut out each and every picture.

Here's me! (I'm the kid in the red hat, and the first communion dress, and I hate to say it, the one with the enormous glasses and pumpkin)

And my Nanny and Papa!

And here's the lady herself. She who passed on to me the crafting gene. She who created the great need in me for "stash". I hope my grandchildren will love me as much as I love her. And I hope someday to master her potato soup...

Tomorrow, I will show you the two afghans that I made that were inspired by her. For now, goodnight and thank you for letting me share my Nanny with you.


Monkey said...

what a lovely tribute to a very talented lady!

knithound brooklyn said...

Your Nanny left such a wonderful legacy! Lucky you to have these reminders around you.

rochard said...

She was really an artist. That picture is amazing.


Shoveling Ferret said...

She had a wonderful smile and amazing gifts, not least of which was a granddaughter who clearly loved and appreciated her so much. Thanks so much for sharing.

Knit and Purl Mama said...

That's some pretty impressive stuff she's made!

Anonymous said...

You had a wonderful, wonderful Nanny. I inherited my grandmother's stash too, it makes you feel closer to them, doesn't it?

Afton from Ravelry

Lettetia said...

That is a very beautiful afghan your Nana made for you. How fortunate that you can pass it down to your daughter.

The quilts are just gorgeous! What wonderful colors.

Alice said...

I LOVE this post! Reminds me so much of my own Grandmama. She was a talented crocheter, and my mom and her sisters now covet our numerous afghans she handmade. Maybe I'll work her into a post of my own!