Celebrating Women: Great Grandma’s Quilt



March is a marvelous month of the year! It’s Women’s History Month, and all this month, we will be celebrating all the great things we love about about the women in our lives, the grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives, lovers, artists, and teachers in all of us. I’d like to begin our Celebration of Women by posting this amazing creation that I’ve been working on for the past few days. When I was a child, my mother, sister and I would all pile into the car and drive all the way out to my Great Grandmother’s old farm in central Wisconsin, right on the border of Amish country. Sometimes we’d see a black buggy, or men in dark hats leading a horse through the black earth, making rows so perfect they looked like corduroy. I loved seeing the black quilts out on a clothesline on a warm spring day. When we arrived at my Great Grandmother’s house, we’d spend the day at the old farm feeding Grandma’s bunnies, hiding behind the dusty old tractors, or seeing if we could throw the old apples over the barn roof. My Great Grandmother always had pie, and she always had huge colorful quilts stretched across a giant wooden rack in an old upstairs bedroom. Her quilts used the traditional old patterns quilters still use today, like stars, sunflowers, log cabins, or spring baskets. While Great Grandma always used colorful calicos and florals, I always loved the way the bright colors would pop against the black background of the Amish patterns. Years later, when I was living in Philadelphia, I would go downtown to Reading Terminal Market to look at the Amish quilt samplers and buy lemon cannolis from Termini’s.

This card is a salute to all our Great Grandmothers who loved baking pies and making quilts! I was very fortunate to have my Great Grandmother in my life all the way into my 20’s, and she was a wonderful influence on me. To make an oversize card like this, begin by cutting out a pile of one-inch squares. I used my Epic 6 and my Spellbinders Nestabilities Squares and cut and embossed each square at the same time. Then the squares were carefully cut in half to make triangles. I used graph paper and some sharpies to play around with a few designs, finally settling on a variation of the sunflower, with a windmill in the center. It reminds me of those warm summer days in central Wisconsin. Then I used a collection of steel square triangles to find the exact center of a sheet of black cardstock and divided the paper into 4 grids. Working from the center out, I continued repositioning, aligning, and arranging the triangles over and over, working hard to keep the design square and straight. It’s not easy, but keep practicing and your designs will look great!

Here’s to you, Great Grandma Frances Lewandowski Chilla, for showing me how to live my life in color!

Michele Sig NEW




2 thoughts on “Celebrating Women: Great Grandma’s Quilt

  1. Dawn T says:

    Amazing Michele. I only just remember my Great Grandma who passed away when I was about 6. I have a lovely photo of the 4 generations though to remember. Such intricate work and a great tribute to all the Quilters of the past


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