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Stairsteps to Heaven

My maternal grandmother was an extraordinary person and I adored being with her.

Her life was not easy living through the Dpression and World War II. She took on many jobs to keep her home, from running the town’s canningmachine during World War II, repairing sewing machines during the Depression, picking and sorting cucumbers, mowing two different cemeteries in Wisconsn summer months, rolling rags for rag rugs, and then there were her quilts.

Her favorite pattern was Stairsteps to Heaven.

She organized her scraps in a shoebox, counting the number she needed for each set of steps. Sometimes she didn’t have enough of one fabric and she would substitute a similar one—keeping in mind that nothing was wasted. Some of the rectangles are pieced to make them the proper size.

She used cardboard templates, cut from heavy boxes. When I measured those templates, they were square and precise.

I don’t know how she managed to sew it together as she certainly did not have such a thing as a design wall—perhaps she laid them out on a nearby bed as she worked.

Some of her edges are not accurate—but I think she made this one several years after a stroke limited her use of her left hand; her treadle sewing machine was converted to electric by someone—I’m not sure who—perhaps my dad did that–he was a great mechanic.

I recognize several fabrics–the white/red stripe was kitchen curtains on the fram, the blue next ot it, a dress I made for college, the maple leaf a dress of my mothers—but there are others I don’t recognize—and were no doubt scraps given to her by others.

I’m not sure I can replicate my grandmother’s sense of color and design but it is a fun quilt to study.

This quilt is now in the binding queue.

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