This month, April 16 is the death date of my Darlin' Grandmother Jennie. We, her grandchildren, all called her Jennie. This all started with me,since I am the oldest. She, called everyone darlin'. I was Dani darlin'. I vaguely remember in my very early years, probably 4 or 5 being scolded by her Aunt Hazel for not calling her Grandmother. After we left my great-great Aunt Hazels house, I turned to my Grandmother and said" Jennie, do I have to call you Grandmother?" She said " Baby, you can call you whatever you want as long as you love me." She always knew how to make me feel better.
When I was young, she moved to Grayville, IL, about an hour away from us. We would spend a couple of weeks every summer with her. We loved it! She owned a restaurant and a fabric store/drapery business.
One summer, when I was about 10, I was rummaging through her sewing things and came across this old box. I can't remember exactally what it said, but it was something like 'mammas quilting blocks'. She labeled everything. It was a box of Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks, nine patch blocks, and cut hexagons and squares.
I asked Jennie about the box. She told me her mamma made them.
I asked her if I could have the box. She said "why in the world do you want them? What are you going to do with them?" I told her I thought they were so neat and I was going to make a quilt with them. She was a little reluctant, but eventually caved in. :) She rarely said no to me. As you can see, I have yet to make that quilt, but who knows, maybe one day.
My Grandma Jennie was a sewer, drapery maker, not a quilter. My Great-Grandma Vera was a quilter.
About 30 years ago, Jennie met a wonderful man named Kenny. He became her third husband for 25 years in her golden years. He was the closest thing I knew as a grandfather. I did not know my maternal or paternal grandfather(another couple of stories).
He treated my grandmother like GOLD! He treated us, her children and grand-children the same. He was a self-made millionaire. You would never know it by his demeanor. He had a nice house. Not a mansion, but better than we were accustomed to. But he always made us feel welcome. He was gentle and kind. I always though they were the perfect couple, because my grandmother was too, gentle and kind.
This brings me to the end of the story. The Wicked Step-daughter and the Hexies.
Jennie died one year before Kenny. Kenny had a daughter, we will call her "B" for obvious reasons. B was the executor of Kenny's estate because of his condition. When Jennie was in hospice, she sent my mother to the house to retrieve 3 things. Her jewelry box, the title to her car, and an annuity check. My mom, could find all but the annuity check.
Upon Jennies death, B promptly changed the locks on the house. My mom and her brother had to arrange a set date meeting to retrieve my Grandmas's life of posessions. B and her siblings, went through the house and gathered what she thought belonged to my grandma, or rather what she decided what we could have. It was all in boxes, ready for us to pack off. She said to us. "You can go through the house, and if you see something you think might be Jennies, lable it, and we will take a look at it, and decide if it is yours or not. There is a quilt on Jennie and Kenny's bed. But I am not sure if it is Jennies, or my mothers"(her mother died years earlier).
I knew this quilt. She had told me before that her mamma Vera made it. I bee-lined for the bedroom and grabbed it. As I was walking though the house B saw me clutching it. She said" Please don't pick anything up. I told you I am not sure if that quilt is Jennies or my mothers. If you find something you think may be Jennies, label it and we will get back with you." I promptly said" This quilt is Jennie's. Her mother made it. She would NEVER have something on her bed that belonged to your mother out of respect for you!" B could not argue with that, because she knew how my grandmother was. There were several things in the house that belonged to Kenny's first wife, B's mother, and Jennie never let us touch those things. B said " well, you are probably right, just don't pick anything else up!" Needless to say, we did not get all of Jennie's belongings. I still don't understand B's greed. Kenny had money. She stood to inherit a lot upon Kenny's death a year later. Why did she want Jennies things too. B died about a year after Kenny. She didn't get to enjoy her new found wealth for long.
I was the only one in the family who never received a family quilt from Jennie herself. I think it was just an oversight. Jennie would have given me one if I asked.The family said I could keep the quilt! It is one of my most prized possessions.
It has received much love over the years, so I keep it in a hope chest for safe keeping. Athough B made things difficult for us, Our family came together and no one argued. We took turns picking out what we wanted of the things we were ALLOWED to have. Jennie would have wanted it that way.
This brings me to now. What got me thinking of all of this. This month of April. The Month of Jennie's death. We are making hexies this month for the Craftsy BOM.
I never have done English paper piecing before. I enjoyed the process, however, it is a long process!The first block I made much harder on myself than I had to. I pieced them together, and then machine appliqued them to the white fabric. This resulted in many thread tails to hide. I will NEVER do it this way again.
I like the portability of making hexies. I also love the look. Just be prepared for a long process if you make a whole quilt of these. It took me approximately a week to make these 2 blocks!
Ok, I have to get off here and start my day! I hope you enjoyed my stories. I know it was a long post, so if you read to the end, Thanks!!!!