The Quilted Heart Omnibus series of post Civil War novellas released last Tuesday. Reader-friend, Jasmine Augustine, is celebrating with us . . . sharing her Quilters and Quilts story.
Jasmine is dedicating this interview to her Great Grandma, Ellen Derrick (1918-2012).
MONA: How long have you been quilting?
JASMINE: I made my first doll quilt when I was about 12 but didn’t make my first full-sized quilt until 2008, so I have been quilting on and off for either 13 years or 5 years depending on how you look at it.
MONA: Who influenced you to quilt?
JASMINE: Definitely my Grandma and Great-Grandma on my Mother’s side. They have a tradition of making beautiful quilts for their children to great-great-grandchildren. Someday I hope to be a little tea-light next to their large pillar candles.
MONA: Jasmine, I love the poetry in your tea-light and pillar candle imagery. Beautiful. What was your motivation to become a quilter?
JASMINE: Great-Grandma quilted and Grandma still does, but none of my aunts nor my mother really took an interest. At 18, I decided that it would be tragic for, what was really a family art, to die out. I have only made quilts for close family. Dad was pretty tickled with his because it was the first that anyone had made just for him.
MONA: You have a rich history of quilters in your family. Do you have any favorite quilts made by your grandmother and great-grandmother?
JASMINE: I certainly do! There are four that are very special to me:
#1. Great-Grandma made it for me when I was about three or four years old. It has been my constant companion and comfort through many trying times. I have tried many times to put it away for safekeeping, but I just can’t do it. I keep taking it back out. That quilt is now old and a bit ratty, but I love it even more. (insert photo)
#2. I was blessed to receive one of the last quilts Great-Grandma made. I will treasure the gift of love and time she spent painstakingly stitching into each block.
#3.I couldn’t believe my eyes when Grandma gave me the most beautiful quilt appliquéd and embroidered with my favorite lighthouses and a fully-rigged sailing ship in the middle.
#4. The appliqué and embroidered quilt my Grandma made for my parents 25th Wedding Anniversary. It tells our story of four years living in North Idaho after we lost our home in a chemical spill in Montana. Even though we had next to nothing, it was the best time of our lives.
My quilts are my most valued possessions. Several years ago we had a chimney fire, after making sure that pets were safe, the first things I ran back inside to retrieve were my quilts and doll quilts, each one irreplaceable to me.
MONA: Do you have any favorite quilt patterns?
JASMINE: I love quilt patterns in general and have probably 40 books on the subject. My favorite pattern, I think, would be any of the Irish Chains, specifically this one.
MONA: Have you learned any life lessons from quilting?
JASMINE: Besides patience? Seriously though, the old adage “Anything worth doing is worth doing well” has been brought home to me over and over.
MONA: Thanks so much, Jasmine, for sharing your quilting story…and your Great-Grandma Ellen with us.
Your turn: If a family member was to make a special quilt for you, what would it have on it?