I've been back for over a week, but I'm just now uploading pictures from my Wisconsin trip in early June. My main reason for going home is pictured above: to make some quilts with my gramma. (Side note: how amazing is it that the borders totally change the quilt?! Everything inside the white "stopper" is exactly the same.) My gramma has been a seamstress all my life and probably most of hers. I don't remember when she started quilting, but I do know that in my family it is tradition that she presents each grandchild with a handmade quilt on their wedding day. Mine is beautiful and is a treasured possession of ours. I came to quilting less than three years ago (when I was already living on the East Coast), so this interest that we now share was never shared when I lived a mere 30 minutes from her.
I chose to take this trip because I don't want to have any regrets. My grampa is not doing so well; he has Parkinson's, and my gramma is falling into the role of caretaker, which isn't easy on her, either. I know they won't be around forever. Each time I've made the trip home to Wisconsin, it was for a holiday or a family reunion. I've seen my grandparents, but I haven't been able to spend much time with them since my extended family is big (nearly 50 people, I think). So this trip was just me at a time when nothing else was going on. My grandparents were gracious enough to let me stay overnight at their house, even, so I was with them for two full days and one night.
The experience was one I will never forget. I learned so many things about my grandparents, and I am so incredibly grateful I was able to have that opportunity. I know how lucky I am. My gramma was away at a church meeting for a couple of hours the night I stayed there, so my grampa and I had uninterrupted time to just sit and talk together. I don't think I've ever had that much one-on-one time with him before, and honestly, I don't know if I'll ever have that chance again.
I learned that my gramma and I are very similar sewers. We took a trip to JoAnn's and picked all of the fabrics for the quilts together. I wanted to do that, but I wasn't sure what kind of color scheme we'd end up with. I don't know why I had any reservations--we share excellent taste! We also share a great belief in the fudge factor of piecing patchwork. Seam allowance too big? Oh well! Just trim it up. Everything will work out. And it did.
ETA: Pattern is Yellow Brick Road by Atkinson Designs. We were able to complete both quilt tops in about 6 hours of work, with my gramma doing all the sewing and me doing all the cutting and pressing.