Christmas Eve Quilts!

Every year on Christmas Eve, I prepare some sort of family heritage gift for the kids.  This year I worked on their Life Chronologies which need to be updated for the last 6 years.  I’ve simplified the process by creating a template they can fill in each year with their highlights and important events.

But that wasn’t the main gift this year.  I’ve decided it’s time for me to stop sitting on all of my quilts.  It’s time to start letting go.  Some people make quilts and give them away as fast as they make them.  I am not one of those people.  My quilts are my babies and I have a hard time parting with them.

A few weeks ago in the middle of the night, the thought came to me that it’s time to start letting them go.  It made me hyperventilate a bit and change the subject in my mind, but I kept coming back to it, and after tonight, I’m glad I did.

After reading the Christmas Story this evening and singing some carols, I explained the chronology records (there were only a few eyes rolled), then I told them I had something else for them.  I started with the grandkids.  They each got their own special quilt.

Clark and Josie got their I Spy Quilts.  These were the first ones I made.  These are the quilts I’m making for each of my grandchildren and great-grandchildren some day.  (I got carried away.)  I was so happy tonight to finally start this tradition in our family!

The big kids thought that was the end of things until I said, “we have only just begun!”  After the little kids went to bed, I invited the big kids to go upstairs and wait outside our bedroom door.  Earlier today I made two piles of quilts–one to share and one to hang on to a bit longer.  Then I spread the quilts to share all over the room so everyone could see each one.

This evening I opened the door and let them in.  I told Adam,  Heidi, Claire, Graham, Aaron and Abbey they could each pick out any quilt they wanted.  I explained that it’s time for me to start letting go so they can start loving and using these quilts.  It was a monumental moment for me, sharing quilts I have loved and never parted with.

This is the pile of quilts to share with the kids now.

This is the pile of quilts I’m hanging onto a bit longer.

Here are the quilts–

I was a little nervous, I must admit, not knowing how this would go (would they even want my quilts??) or would they have a hard time picking out which ones they liked?  Usually the kids dismiss my passion for quilting and roll their eyes at me when I’m in my quilting world.  Tonight warmed my heart.  They were Excited!

Abbey was the first to spot the one she loved most–a simple vintage 9-patch chain.  She picked it up and didn’t let it go.  She said she always wanted a quilt Exactly like that one.  I sewed the squares in this quilt together, one by one.  I made it before Aaron was born.

It didn’t take long to see that narrowing down their choices was hard, so I decided to let each couple pick another quilt, and then one more.  Each couple ended up with 4 quilts.

Adam and Heidi picked fun picnic quilts they can use with their kids–a patriotic, sunflowers and the funky chickens.  Their 4th was a scrappy star for the girls.

Claire and Graham went for the vintage look, with a 9-patch variation with yo-yos, a scrappy Civil War-era hourglass quilt quilt and a scrappy star.  Their 4th was the Wash Day Quilt made of 1930s reproduction fabrics.

Aaron picked a large bed-sized scrappy triangle quilt and Abbey picked the 9-patch and one I call a vintage beach ball quilt.  Their 4th was a Christmas sampler.

My beloved happy children with some of their beloved quilts:

It was the Best Christmas Eve Ever.  Truly.  I was thrilled that they were thrilled.  After they had their arms loaded, we sat for a minute and talked about the quilts and I showed them a few quilts Grandma Elsa and John’s Grandma and Mom made.  I also pulled out my “Oh My Gosh” quilt top that I hope to finish this year.  It’s one of my favorites that I’ll probably hang on to for awhile.

I told them how this quilt represents to me individuals and families, all chained together into a beautiful whole.  I love quilts.  I loved sharing my quilts this evening.

I later emailed a copy of this chart showing the value or a twin-sized quilt.  These are real treasures to be valued, mostly because they were made with love and given with love.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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6 Responses to Christmas Eve Quilts!

  1. Barbara Reynolds says:

    I love it. My mother started making quilts when she retired and gave one to each grandchild as they got married. we always loved her quilt shows. I continued this tradition. what treasures you have.

  2. Lori says:

    What a great post, thanks for sharing.
    I think it is always so difficult to guess what kind of quilt someone else would like. Was it surprising to you, the different quilts that your kids chose?

    • That was probably the part I was most curious about–which would they pick?? I wondered if they’d like a more modern look (I love vintage scrappy), or if they’d like the ones I liked best. Everyone had different taste, and that’s good because there are a lot of quilts here that will eventually be theirs and their children’s. I loved watching them debate and discuss with each other as they decided. Most of all, I’m happy they were happy to receive them!

  3. Sandi Caron says:

    Ann. I think you are pretty incredible!!

  4. Nancy says:

    What a gift you have given! You are so talented! Thanks for sharing your creative journey. 4 quilts each! Wow! I remember your sharing how you sewed so many and accomplished so much. the way you organized sewing those I-spy quilts! You are amazing!!!

  5. Dianna White says:

    What a rich treasure you are passing on! Your family is enriched to have these quilts with so much meaning. Well done and thanks for sharing your story.

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