Handing Down History

handing down history, allisa jacobs, quilting, handmade heritage
I fell in love with quilting about the same time I began my career as an educator of high school students with exceptional needs.  The whir of my sewing machine and the joy of a finished project brought a bit of calm to otherwise hectic days.  Late at night, I quilted my little heart away, creating a piece of handmade for just about everyone in my life (even my very ‘manly’ 19 year-old brother received a patchwork quilt!).
You can imagine my joy when, years later, an aunt handed down a traditional Sunbonnet Sue quilt to celebrate the birth of my first child.  The even hand stitches, charming vintage fabric, and well loved edges – it was pure patchwork bliss!
handing down history, allisa jacobs, quilting, handmade heritage

After finding a note tucked inside, I realized just how truly amazing this gift really was.  My aunt had carefully recounted the journey of this quilt…which had found it’s way to me. Sometime in the early 1900’s my great-grandmother hand stitched it as a gift to her daughter, my beloved grandmother. Growing up, my grandmother adored it immensely and later in life passed it on to her first daughter.  My aunt, with no children of her own, noted that this heirloom deserved a place it would be cherished and handed it down to me.

handing down history, allisa jacobs, quilting, handmade heritage
Delicate hand-stitching from the past

And she’s right, I treasure it fiercely!

It’s a connection to a great grandmother I never met or even seen photographed.  I like to imagine what it might’ve been like for her making this quilt; delighting in scraps of fabric, planning out the design, carefully piecing it all together, hand quilting for hours, and maybe even smiling to herself, hoping her daughter will one day love it to bits.  This is all just part of my imagination, but the lovely part is that in many ways, it’s a reflection of my experience too.

handing down history, allisa jacobs, quilting, handmade heritage

While expecting each of my sons, I spent hours pondering colors, searching for fabric and stitching pieces together, making them a quilt of their own.  I remember thinking, ‘someday I’ll see their little baby bodies all wrapped up and cozy with this blanket!’  And someday maybe it will be a reminder to them of mama’s devotion.  What I really hope for though, is that someday, they’ll hand it down to someone they love and it will begin a journey of it’s own.

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.
~Author Unknown

handing down history, allisa jacobs, quilting, handmade heritage
Allisa's modern baby quit-ready to be cherished and passed on.

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