I got this quilt from Grandma
Put it on the floor
Ran my cars along the roads
And made the engines roar,
Raced my speedboat in the lake
Drove the kids to school,
Picked up groceries at the store
And hauled wheat to the Pool.*
Other blankets are for sleep
But this one is for play,
No other quilt I know can warm
In such a special way.
© Violet Nesdoly
*Pool was the name of a grain company, painted on many prairie elevators when I was growing up.
My mom was an inveterate quilt maker. She made some sort of quilt for each of her 20+ grandkids, many of them play quilts. The wonderful thing about these quilts was that each one was different. Some were based on songs or lullabies (one illustrated a song—My Pigeon House—that she sang to each of us when we were babies). Others had themes—birds, animals, nursery rhymes. The photo is of two of the quilts she made. The one on the left is similar in theme to the one she made for my son. You’ll recognize lots of nursery rhyme characters in the one on the right.
“Ben’s Quilt'” is a poem I wrote in 1999. It is a child’s, my son’s, imagined response to Grandma’s quilt. I was reminded of it by Amy’s wonderful poem “Quilt Map” that was part of last week’s Poetry Friday.
This poem is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Jama Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup, the most delicious blog on the net.
LInda Baie (@LBaie)
December 13, 2012 at 10:18 pm
Violet, such a special thing your mother did by crafting these quilts for everyone. I treasure mine from my mother & from an aunt, others from my husband’s side of the family. Perhaps I can make one for my granddaughter’s with our own special places on it! I love the poem too, just right to say to grandmothers, right?
December 14, 2012 at 4:32 am
Amazing quilts! How did she do that? (I can’t sew…so I am in awe). And how wonderful it must have been to see your son playing on it, as evidenced in your lovely poem!
December 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm
Thanks Iza. My mom was a typical creative. When she had an idea of something she wanted to make she figured out how to do whatever was in her imagination and worked late into the night. Her sewing machine was her paintbrush, I guess!
December 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm
Linda, I wish I made quilts. My grandbabies have to be content with afghans. But I’m so glad we have these!
December 14, 2012 at 7:58 am
I so admire quilters — the ones you shared today are gorgeous — I’m partial to the one on the right with the 3 bears :)! Best of all are those made with love for special people — your mom’s work is amazing! Sweet poem, Violet. 🙂
December 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm
Thanks Jama! I wish I had photos of all of her quilts. And yes, the love that went into them keeps on warming across these six years she’s been gone.
December 14, 2012 at 5:51 pm
Thanks for the beautiful poem and quilt photos! After this terrifying day — I teach in an elementary school and was unable to process today’s events until after school let out — the warmth of these gifts are very welcome, indeed.
December 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Your mom created some special memories for her grandkids. The quilts you have shared are lovely and labors of love, for sure. I like your poem and imagine the many hours of fun that Ben must have had running cars and trucks over the roads.