Saturday, 28 February 2015

Going to Grandma's Quilt Block Free Pattern

vintage luggage suitcase quilt


I've had this quilt finished for a few weeks and have been waiting for some good weather to take pictures. Monday through Friday the weather is gorgeous but the clouds roll in just in time for the weekends. I finally just decided it was time to give up and just take a picture because you can't put your life on hold for a few clouds, sometimes you just have to hope there's a rainbow, or silver lining, or something like that.

There's been another cloud that's been hanging over me lately that I had to get over. Early in January my family and I were waiting to find out where my next assignment would be. In July we will have to move back to the States, and we worried and excited to find out where the military would send us. While I was daydreaming about possible places we might go, I also started planning out our summer vacation travelling around the States visiting all the family we haven't seen in a few years. And that's when the idea of this quilt came to me.

As I designed it I was daydreaming about sunshine and going hiking with my sister in Arizona. And as I was cutting fabric I imagined taking my kids to Disney World, and then driving up to Ohio to visit my husband's family and eating Handel's ice cream. When I pieced it together I hoped we would be able to settle in Texas, wear flip-flops year round and eat tacos every night for dinner. And I started dwelling on that dream specifically. And it came as a big disappointment when I found out we would not be settling in Texas or wearing flip-flops year round. When the assignment notification dropped it was to Maryland--just outside of Washington D.C.

And then all I could imagine was traffic jams, sketchy neighbourhoods and metal detectors and drug dogs at the kids' schools. But I know it's not going to be that bad, and I just had to find that silver lining.

My kids have never seen the Capitol and it's just a short trip to Philadelphia, New York city, or Colonial Williamsburg. And even if I won't get to eat authentic Tex-Mex, the second best food I've eaten in my life was in D.C.  But the best thing about this relocation is we will that we will be closer to my husband's family. I'm not very good with geography, but apparently, all the eastern states are so small, that nothing is too far away. We will still be a few hours away from them, but it will be the closest we've ever lived to family in the last 16 years. They are amazing, and his grandmother is one of the most wonderful, selfless, and beautiful people I have ever met. She is an absolute saint. Before I met her, I had never known a person to be so happy and at peace, and I have never been so at peace as when I'm around her. She taught me what it means to be a truly good-hearted person. She doesn't worry, complain, or gripe. And instead of getting stressed out when her house is full of her kids, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids, that's when she is her happiest.

My 5-year-old has only met her a couple of times (most recently 3 years ago--the last time we were all in the States) but he proudly carries a picture of her around and tells everyone how much he likes "his grandma". And my oldest son is completely indifferent to everything I cook, but we'll wolf down everything she makes and begs me to get the recipe. And now we'll be able to see her all the time, she'll be able to watch the kids grow up and we'll finally have family close by to spend the holidays with. So, in her honor, I am naming this quilt Going to Grandma's. Because really, even if moving to D.C. is not what I wanted at all, it will be wonderful to live near someone who means so much to me, and who I want my children to grow up with.




Many times in life you don't always get what you wish for, but sometimes what you get turns out to be better than what you wanted in the first place. I'm hoping and thinking that now is probably one of those times.

If you want to make a quilt block, you can download the PDF pattern here.




10 comments:

  1. First, thank you for your service to our country. My dad was active during WWII and was on the first ship to arrive in Japan after the bomb was dropped. My first brother was born while dad was on active duty. The other two of us were born after WWII. Dad was a Lt. Col., so he had the ability to stay in a motel when he went to summer camp. A couple of times, Mom and I went and stayed in the motel with him. I remember going to Ft. Meade, MD and Ft. Benning, GA. When George Wallace was shot, Dad called me to the TV and asked if I remembered the shopping center in Laurel, MD where Wallace had been shot. We had been there a few years before. So, even at a young age, I didn't understand lots about the turbulent 60's and yet I was living them. I grew up in WV and went to DC a couple of times and always found it interesting. I haven't been there in years, yet I think you'll find mental detectors and cops in most, if not all, schools in the US today. Some states are trying to pass laws that teachers can pack heat, if they have a concealed carry permit. My daughter Is a high school math teacher is Albuquerque and that concerns me - she weights about 115 pounds - many students could easily overpower her and take a gun away from her. Where would a teacher carry this weapon? I have lots of unanswered questions about this law. I don't know if NM is one of the states or not. Second, thank you for the adorable pattern. My quilt guild is having a challenge for the members to make a quilt for our November meeting for our charity - needy babies/toddlers. This would be an adorable small quilt for that purpose. Thanks for your generosity in sharing.

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  2. Your quilt and the story behind it is so great. I'm glad you will be close to this special lady. I have the same fondness and special memories of my grandmother. Glad they will get to make those memories too. Sorry you didn't get the orders you had hoped for but glad you are seeing the good side :) at least Texas won't be quite as far away! Thanks for sharing your cute block!

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  3. Kinda sad to be leaving Virginia when you are moving so close but I'm excited you will be on the same continent!

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  4. Ugh, phone ate my post but if perchance you are going to Ft Detrick I live nearby and work there in one of the civilian labs and would be happy to answer questions - I moved here 10 years ago and love it.

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  5. Oh Cristina! I love the quilt and love hearing about the next exciting adventure in your life! I know that your families will be thrilled to have you so close by. You are so generous in providing your block patterns to us. Many blessings!

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  6. That pattern is so cute! I grew up in Maryland, pretty close to DC. I did love having all those free museums be so close- just a day trip, and the Metro! Some puerile hate the Metro, it's not the greatest, but whenever I live somewhere without easy public transportation... well, I miss it. I hope you can enjoy what there is to enjoy in Maryland! A LOT of my family is still there and close by as well. My grandmother was a curmudgeon, apparently, and I don't have fond childhood memories of her- I'm so glad when kids have an opportunity to grow up close to their grandparents.

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  7. That pattern is so cute! I grew up in Maryland, pretty close to DC. I did love having all those free museums be so close- just a day trip, and the Metro! Some puerile hate the Metro, it's not the greatest, but whenever I live somewhere without easy public transportation... well, I miss it. I hope you can enjoy what there is to enjoy in Maryland! A LOT of my family is still there and close by as well. My grandmother was a curmudgeon, apparently, and I don't have fond childhood memories of her- I'm so glad when kids have an opportunity to grow up close to their grandparents.

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  8. Love every bit of it! I'm sad you won't be in Texas but you will someday! Thanks for everything you do, service and quilting! Hugs!!!!!

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  9. What a fab pattern! I love that you turned this into something so creative and I'm really glad that you'll be so much closer to your husband's grandma :) xx

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XOXO Cristina