One thing my oldest granddaughter and I have in common is our love of trees. When CV was a tiny little thing, just learning to walk, she had to touch every tree she was near. She’d stretch out that little arm and say “tree” until you went with her to touch it or if she was walking, she’d just try to take off toward it herself. I always got so tickled about it. When she got there, she would just pat her little hand on the bark like she was saying hello to a friend. I believe she would have hugged the trees if she could have gotten her little arms around them.

I love to photograph the sun or sky through tree branches. I love the way the limbs all criss cross and reach up. I think they’re just beautiful. A bare or dead tree is just as beautiful to me as one full of leaves. I’ve made quilted postcards with bare trees on them. Maybe I need to make a larger quilt of tree branches. Who knows, one of these photos could be my inspiration.

My father was also a very big tree fan. CV never met her Great Grandfather. He died when her father was 15, but she said something odd one day that led us to wonder….. I’ll start with the quilt stories. I made my father a quilt when he was very ill. I chose to use red, white and blue and patriotic fabrics because he was a Navy veteran. I had hoped to have the quilt finished by Father’s Day that year, but it wasn’t. So, I showed it to him in progress because I was afraid he wouldn’t live to see it completed. I told him that I’d give it to him as soon as I finished quilting it. I’m a hand quilter and I had hand basted the layers together. Basting stitches are big and are just there to keep the layers from shifting while you stitch. As you get to them, you clip them away from where you’re working. So, in some areas of the quilt, I had fine hand quilting and in other areas there was basting. My quilting stitches were tiny and dad didn’t really notice them, but he sure noticed the basting. I’ll never forget what he said: “Oh, honey! You’re quilting is kind of big.”. He sounded so sad for me. I just smiled and showed him the quilting and explained the basting. He felt much better for me after that! Fortunately, I did finish the quilt before he passed and he was able to use it for several months. He told me he wanted my son to get the quilt when he died. After his death, I added an additional label telling about the passing down of the quilt and I added a picture of my son and father together.

Now, my son was very protective of his Granpa’s quilt. After he was married and they started to have kids, no one was allowed to use the quilt unless they were sick. I can’t remember how old CV was when this happened. She was pretty small and sick and getting to use the quilt. She asked her mom about the picture on the back. M explained to her that it was a picture of her daddy when he was a little boy and he was with his Granpa. She also told CV that her daddy’s Granpa was her Great Granpa. CV didn’t really understand all that Great stuff. She said: “Well, I don’t know who that man is, but I know he’s watching over me.”. When M told me that, I got chills. It makes me extremely happy to think that my dad may be able to look in on his grandson and greatgrandchildren and be a angel watching over them when they need it.

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