Who inspired me to be the person and the quilter I am today?
My grandmother. Granny Ida
Granny Ida..... Ida Elizabeth Moore Smelser
Granny was born on October 22, 1900. She may have been a small woman but she had a spit fire spirit to make up for her size! Grandpa Oscar was killed in an accident when my mother was only 4 so when the oldest child left home, granny moved in with us. She was too scared to live by herself. She lived with us for several years, my Aunt Lurlie for several years back and forth between us, and she lived with my Uncle Charlie's family for a few years as well. We 3 families made sure she was cared for and loved. She was always surrounded by family! She was a mother of 10 children, (1 died in infancy) and at her death on December 11, 1994 she had over 157 grandchildren, (grands, greats and great greats) collectively.... and she was much loved by all of us!
Since her death the number of grandchildren has rose to well over 230! Now that is a family!
I cannot remember a day that she did not do some kind of needlework, whether it be hand quilting or crocheting, her hands were never idle. .....except for when someone mentioned playing games! She loved to play Dominoes, Aggravation, Scrabble and she was never one to turn down a game of Rook! Every New Year's Eve you would find her at someone's table playing Rook until the stroke of midnight! She loved to shoot the moon and would always shuffle the deck.....under the table.... We all would accuse of her trying to set the rook and she would get so mad at us. You could not help but go to giggling.
I feel so very fortunate that granny lived in the home with us because she is one of the biggest reasons that I am a quilter. Her wooden frames were either hanging from the ceiling or on stands most every day of the week! She loved to hand quilt and would sit for hours doing so. Her stitches were so tiny and even... it just amazed me to watch her. I could sit and watch her all day long on the treadle machine just working those frail legs to the bone. She loved it so! One piece of advice that she gave me that has stuck in my head for many years was this...
If it ain't worth doing right, then it ain't worth doing a"tal!
I try to live by those words and every time I feel like taking a short cut or giving up, I hear granny Ida's voice inside my head! I would hope she is smiling down when she sees me in my sewing room.
This is a small sampling of her work... The Texas Rose, as she called it, was her favorite applique pattern to work and the Churn Dash was her favorite pieced pattern.
Granny stitched these kitten blocks for me in the 60's but I had never put them together in to a quilt. When my first granddaughter was born, I put them together and made this baby quilt for her.
When she has her first child, I will give it to her then.
These are a few of her crocheted pieces. They were made for a friend of hers between 1940 and 1950. In 2000 this person's granddaughter called me to her home and gave them to me as an unexpected surprise! She wanted them to come back to our family and she told me that I was to have them. I literally squalled like a baby! I will cherish these forever and hope that one day one of my daughters will be as heartfelt sentimental as I am. If they ever leave our family, I will come back and haunt the person who lets them go!
This photo was taken just a short while before her death in 1994. She passed away with family all around her, just as she had lived her life. We should all be as lucky as Granny Ida was. I miss her so!
It is your turn... tell us who inspired you to do what you do. Create a post on your blog leaving a link back here to mine so your friends can come over and take part. then come over and link up so those coming through my blog, can come to your blog and see your post. I will be anxious to read about your mentor.