The story of Gram’s Fireplace quilt

When Gram Linforth moved out of her big house on Midland Ave and into the small one on Glendale Ave, she told me she was only sad about one thing – the new house had no fireplace. Not that she made that many fires after Grampa died, since he was the one who had to go down to the cellar to clean ashes from the chute. But she did like to have a place to hang a stocking and decorate for Christmas.

I was living in Moraga, CA, mid 1980’s, and saw the pattern for this in a magazine (Family Circle, maybe? Or Women’s Day?).  I went to our local fabric shop in Lafayette, The Cotton Patch, and bought the fabrics. The magazine had printed an insert with all the pattern pieces in full size. I cut out all the pieces and packed the whole thing, including thread and black velour for the “inside” and the kettle, and sent it to Gram as her Christmas present that year.

By the next Christmas, she had completed the wall hanging. It isn’t actually “quilted”, just backed with muslin. After Gram died, in 1989, Mom and I were cleaning at the Glendale Ave house, and I found it carefully folded and wrapped in tissue paper and took it home with me.

Since Gram's wishes about distributing her antiques were not followed, this is one of the few things I have of Gram’s and I just love it.  I try to incorporate it into my holiday decorating as much as possible, even though (so far) all my houses since then have had a fireplace.

Side note: the pattern also had a black cat curled up on the hearth but I didn’t include that. Gram’s black cat, Spook, had recently died and I thought it too soon.

23 December 2016