Wednesday, January 23, 2013

German Memory Quilts!

A Few of My Favorite Things...
When I was a young teen I got a used sewing machine for Christmas.  I enjoyed making my own clothes, but I soon discovered something I loved even more...quilting!  Grandma Zetta taught me how to put a quilt on a quilting frame, but I was pretty much self taught when it came to patchwork.  My first patchwork quilt consisted of wonky rows of roughly rectangular blocks made from the scraps of fabric Grandma Patta gave me.  My boyfriend George was thrilled with his Christmas quilt...so thrilled that he's still around...even though that quilt is long gone.  He supported my quilting habit and took pictures of many of my creations.  Today I found the scrapbook of quilts that I made while we were stationed in West Germany.  It was so much fun to see the patterns that I designed myself.  Being far from home I was influenced by the symbols and culture of my adopted country.  My skills were far from professional, but I spent many a long winter's night sketching and piecing together my German Memory Quilts.

Germany 1977 to 1981
Memory Quilts 

I  regret that I never made one of these quilts for myself.
They were gifts, or sold to American servicemen's wives to earn extra money.

My favorite...loved the colors.

This quilt was made for one of George's officer friends.
It was a farewell gift when he went back to the States.

Some Favorite Blocks...
Represents the coffee mill I bought at a flea market in Bremen.

Oh, how I loved the sight of windmills.
The block on the right is my favorite nutcracker.

Wooden shoes were also worn by old German farmers.

A Dutch design...Northern Germany was so close to the Netherlands.

Gingerbread Heart from the Christmas Markets.

Hansel and Gretel Bears.

Cuckoo Clocks!  And really ugly German wallpaper.
I could never understand the popularity of that wallpaper.

A cute little Dutch miss...and more little birds.

So many memories!  I am so grateful that George took pictures of my quilts.  Even though it's been more than 30 years...it seems like only yesterday.




13 comments:

LBP said...

What beautiful quilts. I am a quilter wannabe..I come from a long line of quilters and my cousin quilts. The furthest I have come is making the top. Still waiting to be quilted! I am so glad you have the photos of these!

Blessings

Linda

LBP said...

What beautiful quilts. I am a quilter wannabe..I come from a long line of quilters and my cousin quilts. The furthest I have come is making the top. Still waiting to be quilted! I am so glad you have the photos of these!

Blessings

Linda

craftyles said...

Those quilts are wonderful. I love the cuckoo clock and the wooden shoes. You should make one for yourself now!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How wonderful to have the photos! I wish I had taken photos of everything I've made over the years. The quilts really are a work of art, my friend! They are beautiful!

Lynn said...

Hi Shirley,
Your quilts are gorgeous!!! Is there anything that you can't do???
Those sweet blocks are just amazing!! Thank you for sharing and give George a hug for taking pictures of those pieces of art so we could see them!! Stay warm and enjoy the rest of your week and your weekend!
Hugs,
Lynn and the wienee ranch crew

Jann Olson said...

Shirley, these are just wonderful. You truly caught the feel of Germany. I love the cuckoo clock. Hubby brought me one home when he was stationed over there for Desert Storm. You did an amazing job of designing each block.
hugs,
Jann

chris mckinley said...

So glad George took these pictures!! Love your quilts! I especially the wooden shoes block!
Hugs, Chris

Creative Breathing said...

Shirley, Your quilt is so precious! How wonderful you have photographs to remind you of your time in Germany. I love your posts Shirley! E

vintage grey said...

Shirley, you quilts are so beautiful and I love all the sweet blocks!! Such talent you have!! Thanks for sharing, and hope you make one for yourself! xo Heather

Erica of Golden Egg Vintage said...

Shirley, your quilt pictures are so special! I love that they represent a fun time in your life too. My favorite block is the Gingerbread Heart! I don't think many husbands would care enough to take pics of quilts! Very sweet of him!
Erica :)

Anonymous said...

just stopping by to say hi

GardenofDaisies said...

Aw, your George is a keep for sure. And those quilts are so sweet!

GardenofDaisies said...

keeper