Our family is like a patchwork quilt
With kindness gently sewn
Each piece an original
With beauty all its own
With threads of warmth and happiness
Its lightly stitched together
To last in love throughout the years
Our family is forever.
Eva Belle Deneau Hanaway
Arlene Guinee Turnbull
My mother Arlene often spoke lovingly of her grandmother Eva Belle. She loved Eva very much and had a close relationship with her. Eva gave my mother a quilt she had made in the early 1900's, when she was a young bride. My mother cherished this quilt and when she passed away in 1998, I really wanted it. As luck would have it, my sister Carole received this wonderful heirloom.
Now, my mother was a quilter too. She didn't make many, but those she made were absolutely beautiful. She rarely used her sewing machine, for she preferred every part be handmade. They took months to make, if not longer. I was one of the lucky few who she made a quilt for. She originally only made them for her grandchildren. At the time I had no children and really wanted one. I remember when she told me she was going to start one for me and asked me what color and design I wanted. Her favorite color was green and I too liked that color, so I told her to use any shade of green and any pattern she liked. It turned out spectacular and I will always treasure this heirloom.
I can't tell you how many times I begged my sister for my great grandmother Eva's quilt. I am not ashamed to say I begged and pleaded for it. I asked for it all the time. My sister wouldn't give it up. In time, I quit asking and whining about it. Years went by (and I really do mean YEARS too!) and the quilt wasn't mentioned or even looked at anymore. But, trust me, I never forgot about it. Last year my sister Carole surprised me with it for Christmas. I was actually at a loss for words and of course there were lots of tears and hugs! There is one little catch...if I should die before her, it must go back to her, which I whole heartily agreed to. I have it hanging over an old rocking chair in my home, for my own little "show and tell" story for my guests. The one my mother made me comes out for special occasions. Hmmm, I have eight children so I don't know who will end up with my quilt from my mother. I just hope they will appreciate it for all the love that went into its creation and all the memories it holds.