"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jan 18, 2017

Gustav's Quilt

I always wanted to make a sampler quilt. I began this one shortly after Tino and I moved to New Jersey from Holland, and finished it when we moved to Oregon a year later. Nice, huh?  No way could I make this today, not with these hands.  Even then, in my 30’s, I could never manage those tiny, equal-length stitches which look easy when you’re observing a quaint Quilting Bee on vacation somewhere.  It’s harder than it looks, which is why I generally machine quilt.

Turns out there are countless examples of blue and white quilts online, so I figured I might as well add mine for posterity, since I’ve already given it away to my German friend, Inga, who shares a love of quilts. 

We met through work in Kaiserslautern, West Germany in 1975.  Inga introduced me to all things Deutsch, but I drew the proverbial line when it came to gut-stuffed sausages. Going to her city apartment was always entertaining, since multi-lingual Inga usually had the most diverse visitors drop by for lively conversation.  I felt so cosmopolitan, being in their midst; but failing miserably to keep up with translations, I’d usually just down the cheap strawberry champagne she favored.

Inga’s parents took me into their hearts like a stray, too.  Gustav adored Frau Leppack but outlived her by many years.  He subsequently became the sweetest ladies man, which probably contributed to his survival well into his 90’s.

I only had the completed quilt in my possession a few months.  Tino died shortly after I finished, and when I visited his family in Holland I popped over to visit Inga, which is when I gave her the quilt.  She cared for Gustav during his final years, and I was happy and proud when she told me he loved being wrapped in my blue and white quilt.

Inga now suffers from Alzheimer’s and I might not be able to express it over the phone lines, but I hope she knows she's being wrapped in my love right now.

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Original gourd art designs Copyright 2020 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.



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