Granna Mur and Lessons Learned

Maggie Ola on right (ca 03-05)
When I was a kid, my great-grandmother was old, mean, and (to me) color blind.  She had a wicked cane that she poked you with (or if you were a particularly annoying male of the family, outright popped you with) and she loved to antagonize my grandfather, which in turn upset my grandmother (her daughter).  She saw things that weren't there, like flowers in the trees or squirrels on the hood of the moving car.  She crocheted like crazy and even made some quilts.  It seemed that her favorite things involved polyester, orange, pink, gold, and olive.  My favorite quilt (long since missing, and greatly missed) was a Southern Belle.  I spent hours picking out my favorite calico patches from thing.  I think it inspired my love of scrappy quilts.  That was lesson one:  scrappy is beautiful.

Holding daughter Sue, 1920

When I was a young adult, it was cool that Granna Mur was still around because, with my daughter, five generations were represented.  She still had the wicked cane, weird colors, and was old.  Interacting with her and my grandmother was a lesson in patience that I'm glad to have learned.  That's number two.
Granna Mur ca ?

Now that she's gone, and I'm (cough, cough) slightly more mature, it scares me that if I had a cane, I would probably be poking people and pink and orange is one of my favorite color combos.  With a healthy dose of olive.  That's lesson three:  what goes around comes around.  On the right I think she is about my age, but I don't know the date.

She made this crazy quilt in the 50s.  As the story goes, she had a brand spanking new sewing machine that did all sorts of almost unheard of stitches.  So she did what any of us would, she made a crazy quilt. 

The quilt is a mixture of machine stitches and some very good hand stitches.  It is lined with some really heavy olive green satin.  It isn't as ornate as a 100 year old quilt, but it's hers, and now mine, and it inspires me.  I didn't even know it existed until a couple of years ago, long after my own love of crazy quilting emerged.  I guess that means I've come full circle.  Lesson four:  follow the beat of your own drummer, and remember, it's not always a completely new beat.
Maybe I'll start collecting canes...

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