Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sharing a Granny Square Legacy

My kids were fortunate to have two very talented and prolific grandmothers. Their paternal grandma crocheted and their maternal grandma knitted. This week I worked on seeing that the granny square baby blankets crocheted by my husband's mother would find a good home rather than withering away in a bin in our attic.  My husband said, and rightfully so, that we were doing the afghans and his mom a disservice by letting them linger, unused due to sentimentality. He especially pushed that I part with them so that another mother and baby somewhere could make good use of them. It was difficult for me but I was willing to see them go if I knew they were going to a good home, where they would be appreciated, even if they got beaten up in the process. This photo with my daughter and her grandma the crocheter was taken in about 1982.

I suggested that we use the upcoming quilt show of my guild as a vehicle for disbursing the baby afghans. After checking with the guild member in charge of the market place at our upcoming guild show, my husband and I agreed on the following plan. I was told baby items tend to sell quickly. What could be sold at the show would be sold. After all, if people are willing to pay money for something they must want it. All the proceeds from the sales would go toward the fabrication of community outreach quilts for the ill, aged, and underprivileged. Those that did not sell would be donated to a local charity or hospital program that helps out moms and babes in need.

I unfolded each crocheted item and smoothed it out for one last look. Even though they had been meticulously cared for, I checked for holes or stains, then measured each and photographed it. Only one had a small stain and two had some tears that I will see if I can repair. I held those three back from among the ones being given away. Here are the ones that were in pristine condition and very serviceable. They are folded in fourths and the center of the blanket is in the lower right corner. I let my own children select from them what they wanted as a legacy keepsake for their kids from their great grandmother. They were very much on board with giving away the generous supply.

These went to my daughter's family – one per child and one favorite. The mint green and white one is being deployed in the baby carriage beneath the orange clown in the photo of my ~2 month old daughter taken in 1980.

These went to my son's family – one per child and potential future children.

My son and his older sister would often snuggle side by side beneath one of the larger afghans. This was one of the ones I set aside because it was in need of repair - not surprising after a such a lot of lovin'. It had been set on point and diagonal granny square triangles along the edges are not as sturdy when tugged and stretched. This photo is from ~1984. It is a bit faded; the yarn was a variegated pastel.

These will be sold or given away.

By placing these lovingly handcrafted afghans in my blog, I can still see them – even better and oftener than when they were in the attic. This larger family afghan is still in use in our household about 35 years later. By the way, the brown stuffed dog was a favorite named Huck. Huck is short for Hugs and Kisses. My daughter also had a smaller version she named Tiny Baby Hucklet.

Sometimes we just need to stop the frenzied creation of our own projects and appreciate the works of those who came years before us. There will be time for me to get back to my quilting but for now, I feel good about devoting the time and effort deploying our plan to redistribute these treasures. Thank you for walking down memory lane with me. I will also share these reminisces with my online quilting community at this week's Let's Bee Social #168.


  1. I look forward to receiving our four blankets in the mail soon! We already have so many blankets (way to many, really), but I couldn't NOT take some of these! They are beautiful, of course, but even more, I love that they were handcrafted by the girls' great-grandmother. Also, I just love, love, love the blankets with the matching baby caps. I do hope I'm crazy enough to have more babies one day and get to use those hats and blankets in some special newborn photos!

    1. That is soooo good to hear. I really wanted them to be handed on to someone who will appreciate and enjoy them.

  2. What memories! It is great to think that our crafts have the potential to outlive us, and it'll be fun to think of Grandma when we use these for our babies!

    1. Why DO our crafts outlive us? There are two reasons. One, we save them as something special and so they do not get used enough (bad plan) . Or Two, the maker has inundated us with so many of them that it is nigh unto impossible to wear out any significant fraction of them. I think I am guilty of Two. The crocheted afghans were also a example of Two.