Friday, May 29, 2009


My grandmother, Delma (who is affectionately known as "Gigi" by all of her great-grandchildren) is an amazing quilter. Her and my grandpa are also big into oral history. So, a few months ago I took the opportunity to ask my grandma about how she got started quilting. She recounted the following memory to me...

It was the summer my grandmother turned nine years old. She often found herself very bored. One day she expressed this feeling to her mother, who immediately showed her a box of fabric scraps. My great-grandmother Woodbury showed my grandma how to cut out and hand sew a four-square block. My grandmother took off with the new hobby and ended up making enough blocks for her mother to make a baby quilt for one of my grandmother's siblings. She was flattered her blocks were good enough for her mother to use.

I had also asked my grandmother to write down some of her experiences with quilting and this is what she wrote...

"I made my first hand-sewn four-square block when I was nine years old. Although I made an occasional quilt during my early adult years it was not until 1979 -- while caring for my aged mother-in-law that I took up quilting seriously as a therapeutic hobby; since then I have made over 200 quilts. I served two years as president of the Hawaii Quilt Guild, two three-year terms on the board of the Utah Valley Quilt Guild, and five years on the board of the New Friends Quilt Guild, mostly handling the Christmas parties and two annual quilt shows.

I was fortunate enough to have an article, "Random Thoughts of a Random Quilter," published in the February 1989 publication of the National Quilting Association's Patchwork Patter.

In 1990, funded by a grant from the Institute for Polynesian Studies, I produced a twenty-eight minute videotape, "Quilts and Quilters of Polynesia." I also presented a paper, "Quilting As a Family-Enhancing Art-Form," at the national conference of the Oral History Association, 12 October 1991. The presentation included the showing of my videotape, which was also presented on public television in Hawaii that same year. I also helped organize the photo-shoot and was one of those featured in "The Story of Hawaiian Quilting," Sandra Goforth's article in the May 1993 issue of Patchwork Quilts."

Since arriving in Utah in 1994 I have shown quilts and/or won ribbons at shows in Springville, Wellsville, and American Fork and I continue to produce quilts for great-grand kids. Serving three years as Relief Society president in the Orchard Ward, Pleasant Grove, Utah, cut into my quilting time for a while, but I am now back on track. I am an old-fashioned patchwork quilt-maker using "true" scraps. My grandmother made many, many quilts and I have passed on her genes to two of my grand-daughters which supports the idea that the interest seems to skip every other generation."

I can't say for sure whether it does or it doesn't (skip every generation) but I am trying to convert every family member, friend and neighbor I can to the art of quilting. I love it and am so thankful to my grandmother (Gigi) for teaching me the basic "How-To's." I'm thankful for the joy and satisfaction quilting has brought to me over the years and also for the way it has brought her and I closer together.


  1. YAY! Congratulations on this business venture! I am so excited to see all of the wonderful things that you will create. I love the name and knowing the history behind you and your love of quilting!

  2. How cute, thanks for the comments by grandma, I love 'em!

  3. What a delight you are, Amber! I'm so excited to see your new blog and wish you every success -- creatively, professionally, and emotionally. I'll be checking your blog often. And, believe it not, I even have a row quilt I'm planning in my mind. Let's see if it actually, hmmm, materializes!

  4. How fun! You are so talented. Those designs are really cute. Congratulations on starting this business! I wish for you the best.

  5. Hey, she taught me how to quilt too. Remember that? Congrats on the new business!

  6. I really like your designs Amber - and I feel a personal connection to your story about you and your grandma - I believe, like you to share this special art of quilting to everyone I know - I'm in my early 30's and have been quilting for about 7 years now and I love all aspects of it. I just recently designed my first 2 patterns (Custest Camera Bag and His & Hers Sheets) - I'm adding you to my blog feed so I can be kept up to date with you and your great stories.