This week I have been reading a new book by Ramona Richards titled “My Mother’s Quilts”. This book is full of stories by Ramona Richards of her family, childhood and youth, how great quilts she owns have come to be, and events in her life surrounded by quilting. There is a lot of passion, and love to her family that is felt and read throughout this book.
Each page of the book illustrates a story related to a quilt from the author’s collection, and each story is quite unique in its description of the life from the past, the trials and tribulations that the author’s family had to go through, and how the family stayed united no matter what happened, and connected through quilts and family heritage.
This book certainly resonates with me, as my grandmother used to be a professional seamstress, just like the author’s relatives. She used to sew for people, and that was her daytime job. My grandfather used to work as a governmental official, and made good money for the time and place they lived in. The family always had good food to eat, no more or less than their neighbors, and were generally not poor. My grandmother didn’t need to work as the grandfather provided for her and the family, but she still always wanted to make herself useful. Her trade took up most of her days safe for her cooking lots of dinner stews, and occasionally even taking care of me, her granddaughter.
Some of my most memorable childhood moments were when I would sew little dresses for my dolls sitting next to my grandmother while she would be sewing prom gowns and evening dresses for her clients. I even remember some of her clients who would come for trying their dresses. My grandmother sewed from her heart, she didn’t have any formal training. She would make her own sketches based on the measurements she would take, and then she would fit dresses and suits on her clients during numerous fittings. She was a seamstress by calling, it was really something she enjoyed, and was truly good at.
When she got too old to sew dresses daily, she still had a lot of scraps left from years of her work, and that was when she started a project of making blankets for all of her grandchildren. Or at least as many as she could make. She was quite set on the idea, and finished at least 4 or 5 of them, if I am not mistaken. In fact, enough for all of her grandchildren. Her blankets were not really quilts, and she didn’t know how to make quilts, but she worked hard on matching fabrics, and making eclectic designs and patterns. Even though I know a lot about sewing, I am still amazed how much work she had to put in to put those blankets together, and they always came out gorgeous and colorful. After those blankets she also made two of my prom dresses – I was so lucky!
I didn’t have the best relationship with my grandmother, but I did my best to be a good granddaughter, as best as I could. I think I succeeded in my small way, I hope. I will never forget sitting next to her, listening to endless opera on radio she loved to listen, and hearing her mumble the tunes while she sewed. Even though my grandmother passed away long ago, now I see her in my own kids – in their faces. Somehow her features have come back, and are to stay in my family, and I often think how much my children resemble her.
Unfortunately, as I travelled through continents, and countries, I don’t have anything that she owned or gifted to me right now. I think my mother still has a lot of items she made. The book by Ramona Richards truly struck a note in my heart, and made me think about those objects that my grandmother owned and made. When I think about objects and products in my life, I have very few valuables. I have a few gold accessories, some appliances, and technology devices, and I know that they have no value to me, they are just stuff. At the same time, the smallest things like a fork that my grandmother owned, or a large decorative cup that my other grandmother owned would have a lot of value to me, even though they have no nominal value but contain those memories. What I associate the most with my grandmother are those blankets that she made, and that she poured all her heart into.
I was so impressed with the book “My Mother’s Quilts” and the stories in the book, and impressed with Ramona Richards that she kept all those quilts that her family made in good order, and told us, readers, all those great stories. This is the kind of book that you will shed tears over, even though there is no tragedy described, simply people’s life. This book is also very inspirational as Ramona Richards finds her road to God through her life story. This book really made me look back and reflect, not every book does that. It is a valuable quality in a book when it is so moving.
Now Ramona Richards has set up a giveaway of one of her mother’s quilts, and here is how to enter it – – http://bit.ly/MothersQuilts
You can also find it on Amazon here:
Win one of the quilts featured in #MyMothersQuilts by Ramona Richards. Also up for grabs: loads of other prizes including quilting hand warmers, coloring books, and 25 signed copies of Ramona’s book. Winners will be emailed after the contest ends on June 30, 2016. Click the image to get started! http://bit.ly/MothersQuilts
About the Author:
Ramona Richards is an award-winning editor, speaker, author of nine books, and a frequent contributor to devotional collections. An avid live music fan, Ramona loves Nashville, which she’s called home since she was ten. Sensing her mother was near the end of her life, Ramona documented her mother’s stories and lessons behind each family quilt. These stories form the devotions in My Mother’s Quilts. Find out more about Ramona and her books by visiting her online at ramonarichards.com.
Sample of the book was provided free of charge for reading and a review.
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