Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Once upon a time, my quilting library was growing with books reflecting my roots. I was delighted to find Old Swedish Quilts by Asa Wettre, English language edition 1995, Interweave Press. I turned to this book recently to study a few quilts which promise to influence some aspects of my next quilt. Old quilts have much to offer our modern imaginations and efforts. 

If you look closely, you might be able to see that I "marked" a page with a quilt I thought had mark making appeal. Some of you already know that I am offering a 5 day workshop at the Madeline Island School of the Arts in 2017

On this winter solstice (a popular mid-winter festival for Scandinavians) let me introduce my Papa, my grandfather Knute Johnson. Born in Boras Sweden in 1893, Knute arrived at the port of Boston in 1912 and in Muskegon Michigan in 1913. He served in the US Army Air Force in WWI. Here is Papa photographed in his uniform.

Two buttons from his uniform were found in my grandmother's button box. Imagine, I held them in my hand and they stepped out from the photo and pulled me back in time. Knute and Rena were married in 1919. They survived the flu pandemic, and Nana was among the first women allowed to vote in US elections. 

Charming sayings and wisdom embroidered on a Bride's quilt caught my attention, Old Swedish Quilts p. 134,  "A hut a heart and a potato" "Do not complain at the wrong moment" "The one who does not go forwards goes backwards" "Rest is sweet after finished work" and "Poor Zaar!" 

I might not have been interested in Swedish quilts if not for Papa's roots. Family heritage and quilt tradition can intersect making rich pieces to stitch together. Each piece is important to the whole. Story telling, sharing and making quilts might stitch us together. 

a peek at a selection from my stash to get me started on my new old Swedish quilt----


  1. Great post! Looking forward to your next creation using these fabrics. Such an understated color palette!

    1. Hi Karen! This quilt, the Swedish quilt, is second in line so it will be a little while before I have photos to share. These fabrics and ideas of strings are the starting place. I'll keep you "posted".