Saturday, August 22, 2009

Orange Blossom Breeze Quilt : Remembering Grappa Eddie

After I learned to quilt in 2004, I decided that I would make a quilt for my Grappa Eddie. When I shared my intentions, everyone in my family said "Why do you want to make a quilt for Grappa? He's not going to be around much longer." My mom took care of the quilting and the binding. When we gave it to him, we made sure he understood that this quilt was to be used, and not put away and "saved" to keep it nice. We were very familiar with his Depression-era mentality for saving things, and never using them.

I found some orange blossom fabric and fell in love with the colors and the textures. It reminded me of Grappa. He had a talent for picking the best boxes of Indian River grapefruit and oranges from the traveling truck drivers who sold them on the road in northern Wisconsin. Grappa knew how to pick the fruit at the peak of ripeness, sweet, and fresh, and juicy. He knew what he was doing!

This is Grappa in an orange grove in Florida in the 1960s, I think.

The pattern is called Northwind, however, I softened it to "Orange Blossom Breeze" because Grappa didn't tolerate the cold as he did in his younger days. This quilt was my way of keeping him warm with memories of his cross-country drives down south and the sweet, fresh fruit of Florida--where everyone has a fruit tree in their yard!

After Grappa moved into the nursing home 2 years ago, Gramma returned the quilt to me. They decided the detergents in the nursing home would be too harsh on the quilt. She gave it back to me--it still smelled like their house. Now I get to keep the quilt and remember Grappa Eddie.

Grappa Eddie died peacefully on August 20, 2009. He was 98 years old.


Carol said...

May you continue to have fond memories of Grappa Eddie and enjoy the quilt gifted back to you. Best wishes to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

i bet he loved the sweet smell of orange blossoms in the night air and the scent of orange oil in the peel of a ripe orange. i bet he loved this quilt!
98 is a ripe old age- sounds like you have some very fond memories to keep with you.

Jackie said...

What a wonderful gift!
Are you able to say where you found the orange blossom fabric? I have need for some :)

Michele at Sweet Leaf said...

I got the Orange Blossom fabric at Hobby Lobby several years ago. I think it was part of a series where every state had a print with trees, flowers, blossoms. I don't remember what state this was--I just knew I liked it!