Like most Americans, I’m a bit mongrel. On my father’s side, it’s all Czechoslovakian. On my mother’s, it’s all Irish. My Nanny came from Ireland. She died before I was born, and I’m sorry I never got to meet her. I’ve heard stories about her though. She married a ne’er do well and so needed to take care of herself and her daughter. For years she ran a boarding house for firemen and policemen. In Brooklyn. (Irish American enough, do you think?)
My brother says she had a close relative hung by the British. During World War II when Winston Churchill would come on the radio, she didn’t, shall I say, exactly root for England. My father, who was stationed in England, just laughed.
She was mother to Josephine, my Grammy. (More on Grammy another day). Grammy married Stephen Lynch who had come from Ireland with his brothers.
I love this photo, how Grammy looks so assured and serene, while my grandfather looks like he can barely stop long enough for the photo to be taken. Did he know he didn’t have long to live? He died of tuberculosis when my mother was only a year old. Though my Mom’s name was Florence, I grew up hearing my Dad and all her friends call her Micky. It didn’t occur to me to wonder about this for the longest time, so I was in my teens before I heard the story, how when she was a baby, her father rocked her on his lap, laughed, and called her his little Irish Micky. Then Mom explained that the term “Mick” was actually a racial slur against the Irish. Huh. She laughed, too.
And here I am, hoping and wishing I get to Ireland someday. I want to visit. Oh, very, very much. My brother has gone several times and, not being at all shy, has wandered into pubs and asked about the Lynches and where in Ireland do they hail from. I am not quite that outgoing. But I do want to breathe that air.
So, here’s my little Irish quilt. Green for Ireland. The Irish Chain for obvious reasons. The background fabric is flecked with gold metallic and I chose it to suggest a bit of leprechaun treasure. The quilting, though tiny, is meant to at least hint of Celtic knots. Oh, I’m looking forward to putting this up for St. Patrick’s Day.
It’s hard to see the quilting in the photo. I used these EQ motifs.
I knew I was going to finagle just a little in the middle of the border section but not bad. I quilted everything in the ditch and then did the little nine patch blocks, using Golden Threads tissue paper as usual.
Then I went for the borders. I made a bit of an oops as I was drawing the bottom border so I switched to the blue ink in my tracing so I knew which lines to follow.
I finished with some gentle curves in the narrow borders. Oh, I like this one! I’m hoping this doesn’t sound arrogant, but really, the photo doesn’t do this justice. It’s way cute. I’ve got more ideas for nine patches coming up. For instance, it’s been a bit since I’ve indulged my Kaffe Fasset love. Hmmmm. But for now, how about ending with an Irish Blessing?
May the lilt of Irish laughter Lighten every load,
May the mist of Irish magic Shorten every road,
May you taste the sweetest pleasures That fortune ere bestowed,
And may all your friends remember All the favors you are owed.