Grandma’s Quilt

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

Before Christmas I had the honor of making a quilt for my Grandma. She’s 98 years old and just moved into assisted living. Of course she has always been very frugal and has had the same bedspread on her bed since, well, for as long as I can remember. When my mom and aunts mentioned about getting her a new quilt for her bed I of course was on it! Quilts are such a meaningful gift, they take many hours to make and are filled with love from both the maker and the recipient.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

The whole process was so fun. I brought a few books and patterns to show my Grandma and she picked out the Side Braid quilt pattern by my friend Jeni Baker. I was tickled she chose it. We took the measurements from her existing bedspread, it’s a very large quilt for a twin size bed (80″ wide by 100″ tall). She likes it to drape to the floor and cover her pillow, so I adapted Jeni’s pattern. (I should note that the pictures of the quilt are on my own bed, I didn’t feel like I should traumatize my Grandma with my crazy photo antics!) My aunt and I went to my local quilt shop and with a fabric swatch from my Grandma’s couch, we went to work on picking out fabrics. It really was fun and challenging, and I think we hit just the right spot.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

When talking with my Grandma, she told me that when she retired (she was the postmaster in her town) she considered a few different hobbies to pursue in her new found free time. She said she thought about quilting, but ultimately decided to pursue Rosemaling. What?? you say. Well, if you’re not familiar with Rosemaling it’s a lovely folk art style of painting originating in Norway. My Grandma is Norwegian and there are quite a few Norwegians living in our area. She had a group of friends who regularly get together to work on their paintings and projects. A couple years ago, one of my cousins put together an art display at a local shop featuring my Grandma’s pieces. I photographed each piece and we put up a little tumblr account. It’s pretty fun seeing my Grandma’s projects on her own site and it also ended up being a good way to share her work with relatives that didn’t live locally. Funny though how she almost picked quilting for her hobby.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

The quilt was a labor of love. But it was different in that I couldn’t and didn’t want to stop working on it. I knew that there was a possibility that I had just enough time to make the quilt top and send it off to my friend Christina (Sometimes Crafter) for her amazing quilting and still get it finished in time for Christmas. It wasn’t even an option for me, when we first talked about the quilt, I knew right away that Christina would be the perfect fit to put her artistic touch on the quilt. She beautifully quilted her freehand feathers in an all over pattern. It’s even more gorgeous in real life.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

It might seem ironic that I made my Grandma a quilt, usually I suppose it’s the other way around. But I feel really lucky that I could make her this quilt for her bed. It’s something she uses everyday and will keep her snuggly and warm. I felt grateful that she allowed me to make it for her.

Grandma's Quilt made by Anna Graham using the Side Braid quilt pattern and quilted by Christina Lane

Pattern: Side Braid Quilt (Mini Braid) by Jeni Baker, adapted to 80″ x 100″
Quilting: Christina Lane (Sometimes Crafter)
Fabrics: about half are from the Downton Abbey collection
by Kathy Hall for Andover Fabrics, along with many others
Batting: Quilters Dream Wool Batting

my family

My husband and kids and I had a fun little winter hike to get these outdoor shots. Such a great day to be outside!

Winter Berries in WI by Anna Graham

36 thoughts on “Grandma’s Quilt

  1. Teresa says:

    It is gorgeous Anna! And truly a labor of love…I imagine your grandma feels surrounded by love with you sewing the quilt and your Aunt helping you pick out the quilt fabrics!

  2. Bree says:

    How incredibly beautiful!

  3. Christina says:

    What a heartwarming story:-) and the quilt is just beautiful! I checked out your grandma’s work and she’s also super talented. And I can definitely can vouch for the legitimacy of her rosemaling, being Norwegian and all?

    All the best to you and yours,

  4. Great details, so beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Linda Doyle says:

    Beautiful in every way.

  6. Anja says:

    The colours are very beautiful. What a wonderful gift.

  7. Such a lovely quilt and gift! And the photos are stunning!

  8. Debbie says:

    What a sweet post and beautiful quilt. I love your winter photos of it, as well as on grandma’s bed. And thanks for sharing grandma’s work – it’s really lovely!

  9. Laurel says:

    I love this story! And the quilt, of course turned out so beautiful. And, wow, your Grandma’s work is fantastic!

  10. Kelly says:

    I’m glad she chose Rosemaling her work is stunning.

  11. Katie says:

    I love this! Lucky grandma.

  12. Kim says:

    Hi Anna, What a beautiful quilt! It is so nice that as she moves into another phase of her life, she will have this ‘made with love’ quilt to keep her warm!

  13. What a great quilt. Love hearing the story about your grandmother. I’m sure it will be well loved.

  14. Faith says:

    That is so awesome Anna! I bet your grandma feels so loved every time she climbs under it.

  15. Anita Sweeney says:

    What a beautiful story and such a beautiful quilt for a much loved Grandma. The colours are gorgeous and really do the pattern justice.

  16. Wanda Black says:

    What a heartwarming story. She is fortunate to have you in her life and you are blessed to have her in yours. I lost my grandparents when I was in middle school, so cherish the time you have with yours. You have a wonderful family, too! Thanks for sharing. Love your work.

  17. Erica says:

    Thank you for sharing this. The love you feel for your Grandmother was very evident in your words, and being able to share a quilt with her is so special. I am sure she will treasure it!

  18. Dawn Nelson says:

    How lucky you are to still have your grandma! I can only imagine that she adores her quilt. It is beautiful with such tranquil colors.

  19. Such a beautiful quilt with an equally beautiful story. I’ve never heard of rosemaling. It’s so pretty.

  20. Kerry says:

    How lovely Anna! Gorgeous soft colours. I haven’t heard of Rosemaling but it reminds me of canal boat folk art.

  21. Steffi says:

    That is such a sweet story!! I am glad you got to make your grandma this quilt and that she gets to snuggle in so much love. 🙂 My grandma passed away this Christmas at age 96, so I know it must be special for you. I hope your grandma will get to spent lots of nights under your beautiful artwork!!


  22. Barbara Bailey says:

    What an absolutely lovely thing to do for your grandmother! I know she will cherish such a lovely gift.

  23. Mauri says:

    aw you lucky duck! You got to make your grandma a quilt- how awesome is that! My grandma(91), who lives in Minnesota, has made me many quilts and just recently went into an assisted living situation. I would LOVE to make her a quilt. The one you made is beautiful. And how special your grandma gets to sleep each night under something made with so much love. 🙂 The best!!

  24. Jennifer says:

    Such a wonderful gift for the both of you, so full of love!

  25. erin says:

    it’s gorgeous, anna! i am sure she will treasure it!!!

  26. Marta S. says:

    I love this post! So so special. And holy cow–your grandmother’s work is AMAZING!!!!

  27. Brenda says:

    Your grandmother’s work is amazing—you are so lucky to have an adult relationship with her. Your quilt is beautiful, too—I’m always inspired by what I see on your blog.

  28. Sally says:

    That story, and your lovely quilt, has really made my day, Anna. A true story of human warmth and love for your Grandma and from her to you. You are a brilliant granddaughter! Well done all! Rosemaling is a new one on me, I’m off to investigate your link now..Sally

  29. Heather says:

    Your grandma sounds really sweet 🙂 absolutely beautiful quilt! I’m sure she feels lucky to recieve a quilt from her family, made and given with so much love.

  30. Leslie says:

    I want to add my sentiments to all the other wonderful comments — beautiful story, perfect quilt and stunning art display. What a treasure you have in your family! And your grandmother is talented! Thank you for sharing so faithfully — patterns, stories and the work of your hands.

  31. It is really a beautiful quilt. I have followed your blog a year now and I find your works very inspiring..

  32. Kristin says:

    What a sweet quilt! My mom did a lot of rosemaling when I was younger. Your grandmother’s art is lovely! ?

  33. heather says:

    the quilt is beautiful! i had never heard of rosemaling before, but now that i see it, i realize that i’m familiar with it…just didn’t know the name of the style 😉 i’ve always thought it is beautiful, and your grandma’s work is exquisite. talent runs throughout your family, i can see 🙂

  34. jane says:

    gorgeous! what a special project. your grandmother’s pieces are amazing too…what an inspiration! thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  35. Patty says:

    Your story is beautiful as is the quilt, I love the colors & would love it for my queen bed. What pattern did you use, fabric selections & fabric amount need for a queen bed.

    1. Anna Graham says:

      Hi Patty, thank you! All that info is linked in the text in the post (pattern, fabric, quilting, etc.).

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