Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Grandma Joie

I have wanted to write this post for a long time.  I put it off because I thought writing it would make me sad since my Grandma passed away in August of 2012.  But she was such a beautiful person and made beautiful things I feel compelled to share pictures of the things she has made.  This week I happen to be on vacation and  don't have anything finished to show so I think now is a good time to tell you about my Grandma Joie.

Here is a picture of her.  She always looked that beautiful and put together.  Even in her 80's she was beautifully dressed, always had her hair done, and had lovely jewelry.  My Grandma lived in Missouri.  She grew up in a convent where she learned to do embroidery.  Granmda Joie told me the nuns insisted on perfection.  They would sell the embroidery.

My grandma also made quilts, did some sewing, crocheted, and knitted.  When she left the convent she went to live with a German woman who she helped clean.  She had taught my Grandma to knit.  The last time I saw my Grandma she tried to teach me continental knitting but I couldn't get the hang of it.

I have lived most of my life in New England and didn't get to see my Grandma that often.  Sometimes I wouldn't see her for many years.  But she has always been very special to me even though we didn't get to spend much time together.  Visits with my grandma occurred a little more when I became an adult and she was retired.  And our phone contact increased a great deal.  When I became a mom and started being home more I spoke to her on the phone almost weekly.  In addition to talking about my kids,  we discussed cooking, baking and crafts.  It was wonderful to be able to connect with my Grandma about those things we loved.  My Grandma really loved to cook and I have many of her favorite recipes. 

Growing up we had beautiful Christmas items in our home that my Grandma made.  I had shared a little bit about it here and here.  I thought it was magical how my Grandma could make such beautiful things.

Here are pictures of the quilt my Granmda made me for our wedding.  I was engaged at the end of October 2005 and had a shower in May 2006.  My Grandma did all this beautiful cross-stitch in time for my shower.  She brought it to the convent and the nuns quilted it by hand.  When I opened the present at the shower I cried.

You know the question, "if your home was on fire and your family was safe, what would you grab?"  This is it. 

We don't keep it on our bed because of the little people and we don't have things in our bedroom just right.  But someday I will proudly and very carefully keep it on our bed.  We have a Hitchcock headboard that is actually hard to find bed coverings that look just right with it but this quilt does.

The first quilt my Grandma gave me was the beautiful blue gingham one that has chicken scratch embroidery.  I was in high school when she gave it to me.  I guess it is about 25 years old.  It was on my bed all through high school and then later as an adult even though it had yellowed some and some of the embroidery had come undone ( I wish I had been more careful with it when I was younger).   When I had my son I decided it would be best to take it off the bed.  I would like to see sometime if I can do something about the undone embroidery and yellowing. 

I love everything about this quilt.  The prairie points are beautiful.   I was such a lucky girl to have my grandma make this for me.

When I visited Grandma Joie in 2008 I admired her pillows that she had made.  She told me to take them.  I said I couldn't, and she insisted.  So I picked this beauty out.

And then she gave me these other three beautiful pillows.

Even though I never was able to spend as much time with my Grandma as I wanted, I miss her all the time.  It means the world to me that I have so many beautiful reminders of her in our home. 


The Itinerant Seamstress said...

Thanks for this post - it's lovely. Those quilts are beautiful, and what a special memory of your grandmother.

Cindy said...

Thank you for sharing about your grandma. She sounds like she was a wonderful lady. The quilts she made are works of art!

Elizabeth said...

What a lovely post! Your grandmother sounds like she was a special person. How fun to have things from her for your home. I have some quilts from my grandmother and I treasure them. She's 94 and still alive but her memory is failing fast and it's been hard to watch.

Country Maison (Eva Martin) said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post Christine, such a beautiful story.
And your grandma was right, nuns look for perfection in embroidery, everywhere in the world. My mum learned from nuns also. You have inspired me to also tell a bit about my mum and grandma. One day like you when I feel it is the right moment I will share mine.
I loved that cushion ever since you showed it in one of your earlier posts, and I love the quilts your grandma made, what a wonderful inspiration she must have been for you. . .
I have loved your post ! I am as I write sitting at Oriente station in Lisbon and waiting to take a train to Porto. . . I'm sure this also brings memories to you. However I am here for work and rather be with mi kids and husband. . .
I'm now going to read your other post about the beautiful mittens !!
Have a lovely day !

marisa said...

What a lovely post - your grandma sounds amazing. You are lucky to have those stunning quilts to remember her by. I have a few embroidered tablecloths that my grandmother made and I really treasure them. Sometimes it's hard to actually use things that are so special, isn't it!