Family Heirloom

January 15, 2007 at 10:57 am (Uncategorized)

In the mid 1980’s when I moved to California I use to go over to visit my (now) husband’s Grandmother in her adorable little apartment in Burbank.  She was a lovely woman who had lived through more adventures than I could even imagine.  One of the things I loved about visiting her was seeing the quilt her Mother had made a few years before she was born.  The quilt was lovingly kept folded up inside an ancient pillowcase in one of her drawers.  I would always ask and she would always unfold it and show it to me.  It was small in size, what I would consider a baby sized quilt.  But I doubt that it was intended or used for a baby.  It was made of exotic silk.  Fabric that may have been common in Isphahan, Persia (Iran) in 1904, but certainly not common in my life in America in the 1980’s!  She passed away in 1994.  Soon after I asked my mother-in-law what had happened to the quilt and she assured me that it now lived in the same pillowcase in one of her drawers.  I thought about it through the years and discussed it often with my mother-in-law.  I don’t think I saw it during that time.  My Mother-in-law really wanted to have it framed.  She checked into what it would cost, and it was going to be around $300.00. It continued to live in the drawer.  Last January  my Mother-in-law gave the quilt to me, 5 weeks later she passed away.  She had told me when she was visiting in June the year before that she was giving it to  me.  She even wrote up a brief history of the quilt and gave it to me at that time.  I have wanted so badly for the last year to have the quilt framed.  But like 3 generations before me it sat wrapped in that same pillowcase in one of my drawers.  Until this weekend!  Friday I ran to drop some stuff of at the Thrift Store.  Of course I had to run and and look around a bit.  I usually only look at the kids clothing and then jet out of there. But something in the back of the store caught me eye?  There on the back wall were 6 quilts, about the same size as the one I have in FRAMES!  The quilts were made by school children and apparently had hung in the school for a few years.  The frames had a plaque with the name of the school.  They had them priced $30.00 each, but much to my delight they were green tagged and that particular week green tags were 1/2 price!  That’s right, I got the frame for $15.00!  I was so excited I could have JUMPED for joy!!!  (The most important thing about this frame is that it has raised glass so that it does not touch the quilt.  This is very important for the preservation of the quilt.)

Here is a picture of the quilt now proudly hanging in our family room.

Here is the information that my mil gave me on the quilt:

I have a handmade quilt made by my maternal grandmother in 1904…In Isphahan, Persia (Now Iran.)

…I do not know how long it took for my grandmother to make it. 

It was given to my Mother, but again I do not know the date she received it.  My Mother kept this and I have no idea how it ever survived the war when we lost everything.  My Mother left Iran (Then called Persia.) when she was 10 years old so the quilt has been in Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Holland, England and finally America. 

Love, Mom

I am so glad that our family can now see and appreciate this work of art on a daily basis!  We have already told my daughter that someday she will inherit it, being the 5th women in a long line who will treasure and protect it.  (She is very excited and proud!)  I have put the History that my mil wrote up on the back & will probably add a copy of this blog entry too. 

Here is a picture of Grandma Johannes, the creator of the quilt: 
(This is taken near the time she would have made it with her husband in Persia.)

And here are the other women that have owned it:
Granny (daughter of Grandma Johannes.)
born 1906 Isphahan, Persia (Now Iran)
died United States, 1994

My mil with my husband and kids June 2005
Granddaughter of quilt maker
Born 1934 Medan Indonesia, Died 2006 United States

ME! (Near the time I inherited the quilt.)
Great Granddaughter in-law
born 1965

My daughter who is next in line to be the keeper of the quilt.
Great-great Granddaughter
born 2001

NOTE:  My husbands family was originally from Persia because the are Armenian.  The Country of Armenia was originally located where Turkey, Russia and Iran meet. So that is their homeland. If you want to read about a interesting place and people click here to read about Armenia.

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3 Comments

  1. sagerats said,

    What an amazing story!! I have a couple of quilts that my grandma made by hand, and we have a couple that my husbands great grandma made. They are very large though. What was your husbands great grandma doing in Persia?

    Abiding in the Vine!

  2. SeekingJESUSnTeachingKIDS said,

    That is such a cool story. God is so good to bless you with a frame for the quilt. I am at the thrift store a lot and most things I am looking for will eventually end up there. I have even prayed before garage sales and have found the screen door, coat or pants etc…that I needed. God cares about the details of our lives in every area.
    I am very happy for you,
    :>Michelle

  3. Anonymous said,

    What a lovely story. It is wonderful to know so much of the history. Great idea to have it be seen and appreciated by all. Leanne in Australia.

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