Quilting is such an inherit passion within me and I know exactly where it comes from- my beloved Grandma Metz.
Edna Celest DeMars 1900-1984
My Grandma is the baby of 6 from Maple Lake, Minnesota. She had three brothers and two sisters.
Pictured here with her Sisters
She grew up, graduated and headed off to St. Cloud, Minnesota to attend “normal school” as they called it. It was a 2 year program to become an Elementary Teacher. Her very first job was right here in Forest Lake, Minnesota where I reside- how cool is that?!!!! She taught for a couple of years here then took a job in Watertown, Minnesota where she fell in love with Addison Metz- a butcher and a Golden Gloves Boxer
After a quick courtship (maybe I got that from her too lol) they married and had 5 children.
My Mom is the oldest (and the only living relative left!) pictured on the far right.
My Grandpa Addison died when my Mom was only 16. I cannot imagine my Grandma left with 5 kids to raise alone. She worked 3 jobs- candling eggs, bottling milk & waitressing at the Town Club on the weekends.
My Mom was the first to graduate and moved to Minneapolis to work at the Paramount Coat Company.
Here are the “Muriels” My Mom is on the right, they are still in contact 69 years later!
There, my Mom was taught to sew on an industrial sewing machine. My Grandma’s sister Mary was the only other one in the family that knew how to sew. So amazing, my Great Aunt Mary lived with my great Aunt Zoe… I guess the “rule” back then was IF the oldest girl didn’t marry then you didn’t (although that didn’t stop my Grandma – (us babies of the family kind of get away with a few things haha)
Zoe & Mary lived on a farm, Zoe farmed the land and Mary traveled for a week at a time with her treadle machine from family to family sewing their clothes- with NO patterns!!To my surprise, my Grandma Metz did not learn how to sew until later on in life. In her 70’s she learned to quilt from the ladies at the senior center. She never once bought fabric. People donated fabric to her and she was hooked. She decided to make a quilt for all 10 of her Grand Daughters. When I received mine (I was about 10) I remember just holding it, looking at the colors she had chosen, the design of the quilt and I just knew that it was just so very special.
I never wanted to use it for fear it would wear out. I was intrigued that not only did she make it, but that they were only for the Grand Daughters. It was something I would have from her that was so very special.
I often looked at it just intrigued- I didn’t know why.
She was an amazing Woman- so sweet, so strong and most of all so funny. Her sweet spirit shined so brightly when she smiled, and I miss her.
When I was pregnant with Chelsie I attempted to make a quilt. I bought a sewing pattern and never finished it…
Through the years the feeling was sooo strong that I wanted to quilt. I have never been one to take a class, so I would walk around a local quilt shop- enough times that I felt like a stalker. Eventually they relocated. I went there one day and just knew that a quilt I had seen on display was the one that I loved enough to push me to actually do it. It was NOT a good situation. I felt pretty defeated as I started the process. I asked for the pattern, they replied with sorry, don’t have it, try a used book shop…. I asked where the fabric was, they replied- it was gone….So, determined, I asked for a measuring tape and a piece of paper. With some perplexed looks and a few half smiles they handed me that. I did what I did best- I measured the block out as if I were measuring for a custom picture framing (which I was all too familiar with at that time) I found a round of fabrics I thought were beautiful, guessed on the yardage, drew a quick sketch and headed home. I’m pretty sure the consensus of the employees there were that the bag of fabric would end up in the back of some closet. I proudly showed them the finished top 5 days later.
It was so very gorgeous to me for so many reasons. Funny thing- I noticed a mole on my lower lip right after that… My Grandma Metz had one in the exact same spot. I took it as a sign ❤
I since then have made more than of 80+ quilts. I have done many specialized groupings like my Grandma did- like matching quilts for my kids and their God Mama’s (kind of like those friendship necklaces where you each get a half) and the list goes on. I keep my quilt near me in my sewing room to always have “her” close by…. This quilt is now 40 years old.
My Grandma Metz ❤ To think of what a gift she has bestowed on me! I hope someday that I have that effect on someone as well ❤