Thursday, June 6, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday – An Enduring Birthday Gift

8 June 1908 OH – 18 Sept 2003 NY

When my paternal grandmother turned 90 [1998] our family had a cookout at beautiful Clermont State Park on the Hudson River, organized by Roy & Nicky Brown. The day was cool and cloudy but the rain that threatened held off. We moved picnic tables together and spread out our food. Younger cousins ran around the trees and rolled down the hills. Small groups walked the trails.
Larry & Babs Brown sign the Birthday Quilt
I brought along a gift for my grandmother. I had sewn the top for a lap quilt for Grandma. It was intentionally unquilted. It was a signature quilt & first needed to be signed by the family. I draped it across a picnic table and asked everyone to sing their names and a birthday message. I had brought along special fabric markers. I got about 25 signatures. Some people had fun and wrote funny notes.
Great Grandchildren add their signatures.

Delbert K Brown, oldest child of Ivy, wrote: Your No. 1 Child, Delbert Keith
Leo D Brown, second child of Ivy, wrote: Happy 90th Love, Leo
Genevieve (Brown) Wieland, daughter, wrote: Psalm 23, King James, Thanks for Everything, Jenny

Larry L Brown, son, wrote: Happy Birthday Mom from Your Favorite Kid, Larry
Robert A Brown, son wrote: Happy Birthday, Your Smartest, Robert A.
William Brown, son, wrote: Happy Grandmaw Day, Mom, Bill
Viola (Mark) Nothstein, sister, wrote: Hope you had a Nice Birthday, Lots of Love, Viola C Nothstein

My father, Delbert K Brown, adds his signature.

Grandma was not able to join us at the park that day. After we had our meals we packed up the left overs, all the children and the cake. We drove over to the nursing home where all 90 candles on the cake were lit and we sang Happy Birthday. I asked Grandma the secret of living to 90 years of age. She said, “Don’t pay attention to the years.”
Close up of Signatures

After the party I finished the quilt and gave it to my grandmother. The colors were bright enough for her poor eyesight. The quilt and the love in the messages kept her warm. After her death the quilt was returned to me. Some of those who signed the quilt have died. Children who signed with unsteady hands have grown up and some have children of their own. The quilt is a wonderful snapshot of the day, showing who we were on that wonderful day.  

Ivy (Mark) Brown with four of her children, enjoying birthday cake
My paternal grandmother would be 105 years old on June 8 if she were still with us.

Related Posts:
The Thomas K Mark Family in the 1940 US Census
The Roy Browns in 1940 Ohio
An Old Family Tree Sketch


  1. What a good day to post your treasure since her birthday is almost here. The messages are so cute and so typical of family. My sister always likes to refer to herself as "the pretty one" but I'm "the smart one." HA!

  2. Colleen,

    A beautiful quilt and a wonderful treasure to remind you of special moments with your grandmother.


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