It's All In The Family

This post is being written from my heart to my son.
                      This is about his family,
                                                 his ties,
                                                          his family history.

            It's about these quilt blocks!
Back in 1981, when I was pregnant with my son, my husband's Grandmother, Eva Jackson Kelly asked me to pick out quilt blocks that I liked and she would make me a baby quilt.

Eva would sit in her chair every evening and hand sew quilt blocks. She had a room dedicated to these quilt blocks and trust me when I say, she must have had hundreds of them. Some even were finished into lovely quilts.

For some reason, I thought I was going to have a boy even though the ultra sound was unclear as to the sex of the baby. So I picked out these small fan blocks and asked her to set them up in baby blue.

I remember what Eva said to me that day. She commented that these blocks were not sewn by her, but by her mother! My son Charlie's Great-Great Grandmother! The white part of each block had originally been bags that her husband got his tobacco in. Mrs. Jackson would take apart these bags and after washing them, would use them in her sewing projects. The colored material used in the fan shapes are all the left-over material that she had from making all the dresses for the daughters and all the shirts for the sons! Can you just imagine the history?
Eva did make that sweet baby quilt set up in baby blue and I did have a boy! Sadly, life happens and our marriage only lasted 8 years and the baby quilt was left with my ex. I really don't know if he kept it or what happened to it. I have asked my son if he has seen it, and he says he hasn't.

Here is a four generation picture of the Kelly men. Eva's husband is sitting and my son is the small child.
As luck would have it, Eva gave me the left-over fan blocks that she didn't need to complete the baby quilt. She said that I could make pillows for his bed. That never happened. With a baby, a farm (with pigs, cattle and wheat) and a job, I just didn't have time back then.
However, back in the late 80's, I set up these quilt blocks in this brown calico fabric and made a wall hanging. I hand quilted each of them as you see them here. I had this wall quilt for years, until one day I just got tired of it and cut them apart.

I eventually found small square frames and framed up four of the blocks so my son, when he was ready, could have these as history from the women in his family.
That time has come. My son is now 32 years old and recently wed. He purchased his own farmhouse and is ready to take on these blocks made even more special for two reasons.
The first is because they were lovingly made and touched by his Mother (me), Great Grandmother and Great-Great Grandmother (both of the latter passed away). Not to mention the history of the fabrics used!

And secondly, because his Grandparents house burnt to the ground a couple of years ago. All his pictures and keepsakes were stored there and all was lost.
It's only what I had kept for him that he has for his family heirlooms from that side of his family.

                                   So this is for you son! Love, Mom
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  1. That was the sweetest blog post ever, how lucky your son is that he has such a precious heirloom!


  2. What a sweet, lovely idea. He is now old enough to know the value of heritage and I'm sure will treasure them! You are a good mother!!

  3. What a lucky young man he is that you saved and shared. Now it truly is HIS-story!

  4. Oh my gosh Terry, what a beautiful story! How sad that the quilt has been lost but even more sentimental now are those framed patches of days gone by. So sad that the grandparents house burned down and all was lost. I'm so glad I spotted your patches at the Fabulously Creative Party this morning. I needed a heart warming story like this today!
    Marie @ The Interior Frugalista

  5. I love this post - so much of a family's heart in these quilt blocks. Just think how many new family members yet born will enjoy them.

  6. Oh I have goose bumps! What a great share. I know your son is so grateful that you have these precious heirlooms for him to pass on to his children. I love the history behind the fabrics. XO

  7. I love stories like this. Thanks for sharing.

  8. love the story and the quilt patches. My grandmother was a quilter and oh my the stories behind the fabric she would share sometimes I would take time as a kid look through her quilts and pillows and ID where most of the material came from
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  9. Great story, love the history.........and they are surely beautiful quilt squares.......Andi

  10. What an amazing story! Thanks so much for linking up to the "Get Your DIY On" Challenge! Be sure to come back on April 6th for our "Think Spring" challenge!

  11. The quilt blocks caught my eye - really like how you framed them! However, I wasn't expecting the beautiful story behind them. Thanks for sharing!
    Lori C


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