Sunday, May 12, 2013

Five Generations of Strong Women!

Forget-me-nots in my garden

My guest is now gone so I can get back to quilting and blogging. Today is Mother’s Day in Canada. My brother and I will make an English tea for Mom and then we’ll watch Coronation Street with her. Many people turn their noses up at this show but I’ve always been amazed at number of strong, independent, female characters in this show. It makes the program very unique and it is one of the reasons I’m hooked!

I come from a long, line of strong independent women. My great grandmother was an early pioneer. She was raised in an orphanage in a convent in Europe and was married off at a young age to a man who brought her to northern Alberta where they raised my Grandmother and her brother. How difficult life must have been. My Mother tells me she dressed like a nun all of her life and the ribbons on her chest were from her convent days.

Her daughter, my Grandma, raised seven children in northern Alberta and for many of those years as a single parent. This is Grandma beside the car that was the first car purchased by her third son, the fourth child. It looks so bleak; I can’t imagine what life was like - better than it was in my Great Grandma's days but still difficult.

All of Grandma’s children grew up healthy, happy and strong and they lead long, successful lives. She had four sons and three daughters; most of them had children and several of them had their own businesses. Mom was the third child and the first girl.

Mom was and is a strong, independent spirit and she was very bright. At the age of 18 she decided she didn’t want to be a farmer’s wife, she wanted something more. So she decided to move thousands of miles away to Toronto to start a new and better life! Her mother, my Grandmother, sold her prized sewing machine to raise some of the $75 need for the train fare. And four days later Mom was on the train headed to Toronto .... on her own! Two years later Mom brought her mother and two little sisters, the youngest of the seven children to Toronto. In this picture Grandma is on the left and Mom is the blond with the movie-star good looks second from the right. Aside from Mom, they don’t look particularly happy but life was much better for them and the future was bright!


And like my Mother before me I too decided to strike out on my own. I moved several thousand miles away to start a life of my own. And it was also the start of my daughter’s life and my love of quilting. Eventually we moved back to my old stomping ground and have remained there ever since.
The little baby on my lap is now a grown woman and while she doesn’t quilt, she is learning the joys of handwork. She too has the same strong, independent, pioneering, creative spirit of her Mom, her Grandma (or GM as she calls her), her Great Grandmother and her Great, Great Grandmother! I think it is in the genes!

I have quilts that were made by my Mom and my Grandma. I imagine my Great Grandma must have made quilts, utility quilts, but sadly none have survived. I do have some of my Grandma’s utility quilts and comforters and will have to pull them out one day and tell their stories.

Barbara’s quilt hasn’t been touched for a few days because I’ve been so busy and I must get back to it but not today. My Mom has two more African quilts ready for quilting and has asked if I could quilt them for her right away so that she can embroider and embellish them.

Fabricland has a sale on quilting cotton so I got this wonderful print of an old fashioned map of the African continent to back her quilts.

I also purchased a few other fabrics that were on sale for $4.50 a metre. I don’t know what they will be but the stripes would be great in the border of a pretty summer quilt and the toile would be great fussy cut for another hexagon quilt!


And so that is what is on tap for me today and tomorrow. Once Mom’s quilts are quilted it will be back to Barbara’s quilt. And I still have to finish the Baskets and Nine Patches pattern for you. Busy, busy, busy! I leave you with a picture of another little quilt made by Mom. It is hand embroidered and hand quilted. For the mothers in the audience I hope you have a lovely day!


Until I post again, happy sewing!


  1. Your daughter sounds wonderful! I bet she is good looking too! Good genes. Happy Mother's Day

    1. Thank you my wonderful, good looking daughter!

  2. What a lovely history lesson about the women in your life. Mother's Day is always a nice time to reflect on a wonderful life we have compared to the women of the past.