Posted in family, grandchildren, Projects, sewing

No elephants here

I’ve decided to lighten it up today with a post about something meaningful to me. AND no writing about the elephant in the world as that’s all that was talked about in my work day. So without further ado here is a little something I’ve created called “My Nanna’s Garden.

If you know me via the blog or IRL you know I’ve got to give the back story seems I have a fondness for details and history.

Back in fall of 1981 my Nanna, long blind, lived in a seniors lodge in Regina. She was a feisty old one, no doubt about it. Pretty sure a) she was before her time in that regard and b)she would have been a scary mother in law! I only remember her as the Regina Nanna and was too young to know her when she was a quilter, crocheter and painter. The older cousins remember these activities well as she lived locally and they spent a lot of time with her.  Her sight left her as a knitter of 10″ strips that her daughter-in-laws crocheted together to make blankets. Of which every family had at least one per person (or more). It kept her busy and occupied. I had them put aside for my children before I had children!

Ok, back to 1981. She bought or commissioned a grandmother’s garden quilt to give us as a wedding gift. I doubt that she added any stitches to it but she gave us a gift that we treasured and used for years. No pictures of this could be found despite an hour of looking but I did find a couple of wedding pictures worth showing.

Fast forward to the mid 90’s and kids jumping on the bed. The material was starting to disintegrate so it moved to the spare bedroom downstairs.

Now in the 00’s the kids moved downstairs and it kind of disappeared. I found it in 08 when we packed up to move and set it aside. Over the next year or so I spent some commuting time carefully ripping it apart. Then it aged again waiting while some ideas percolated around.

I had an empty wall in the attic that needed a spot of cheerful colour. It took about a month of evening hand stitches to attach the ironed grandmother garden patches to the flour sacs. I honestly don’t even remember where those came from but I have several of them and they were perfect for the already softened flowers. I then appliqued on the leaves and embroidered the stems. Then I added the batting and the backing (more of the flour sacs) and did some simple machine quilting. I did not want it to become the star of the quilt; just to be the stabilizer. Although I did add some fancy stitching down the bigger leaves to add definition. I designed and printed off a label which got attached with many swear words (that computer fabric material is harsh to work with).

I am particularly pleased with how it turned out. Just a concept of making a few flowers to random stems and leaves to a finished product. A lasting gift from my Nanna; one stitch at a time.



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

5 thoughts on “No elephants here

    1. Thanks Janis — the only hint to the elephant was the hashtag #stayhomeandsew. I am quite pleased with how it turned out and love that I recorded that story about my Nanna.


  1. What a delightful post — and I love how you have both told and preserved history. So beautiful and thoughtful. Thank you Bernie for such a delightful story to read here in the still darkness before the sun rises.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks Louise for the lovely compliment about the words and the stitches. You will appreciate this – it just felt right. Like finally I was supposed to make it. That the contents had drifted long enough and needed to see the light of day again.


  2. Beautiful…
    memories and lessons from grandmas are so so special…
    Now your family can continue to treasure the quilt but also the love you stitched into it…


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