Honoring ancestors

Of the many quilts she has created, Ginnie Christopherson admits her latest is among the top two favorites.
The ancestral quilt, compiling 42 individual squares, showcases members of Christopherson’s family all the way back to the 1700s.
It’s a work of art that has taken quite a bit of time to assemble.
“I’ve always wanted to make a crazy quilt and I decided it was time I should. I thought about making one with family pictures on it to make it unique,” Christopherson said. “It’s been a very long time in the making.”
The crazy quilt Christopherson refers to is a patchwork-type quilt with varying sizes, colors, shapes and fabrics. Other types include pieced quilts, appliqued quilts and art quilts.
Christopherson said it has literally taken years gathering all of the pictures and stories that she could reproduce onto the quilt, which she has done through another hobby — genealogy. The time-staking process also involved copying tintype photos.
It’s no wonder her other favorite quilt, one she calls “Family Tree,” also stems from her love of genealogy.
The heirloom and family tree quilts are just some of the many she has assembled since she started quilting when she was eight years old. Currently Christopherson’s son is compiling a scrapbook of pictures that showcase her creations from over the years.
“My grandma taught me to quilt. When I was a little girl I had a toy sewing machine,” Christopherson fondly recalls. “I’ve made so many quilts over the years…my youngest son is making a scrapbook that holds 100 quilt pictures. The hardest part was having to go through and decide which ones I wanted to include.”
Christopherson explained she makes quilts for occasions, such as Christmas or a birthday. She has also made one for each of her eight grandchildren’s graduation from high school. Other times it is often inspired by a picture in a magazine, which she will make a variation of.
“You get ideas…I hardly ever follow a pattern. I use the magazines for ideas. I have a pretty good library of books I have been accumulating and I can choose from there,” Christopherson said. “I love scrap quilts…the scrappier the better. I love to study the patterns.”
There is no easy estimate on how long it takes Christopherson to make a quilt, depending on the detail and how long she sits at a time to work on it. Christopherson’s best estimate is about a week to make one, but that is quilting nearly non-stop. The “quilting till your eyes get tired” amount of time.
Currently Christopherson is working on a quilt she titles, “Stack and whack stars on steroids, because it’s pretty wild.”
Adding, “It’s fun to name your quilts.”


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