On the surface the beautiful design, the warmth on a cold winters night while underneath an intricate patchwork of stitches all coming together joining not just pieces of fabric but generations. In my case me granddaughter to my paternal Grandmother Eva Palmer. Grandma Eva died when I was 5 or 6 so I did not get to know her well but that quilt held her memory however faint to me for quite some time. The colorful triangular patches sewn together combining functional with fancy.
Grandma Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer — Grandmother Music Sewing Box
Grandmother Eva’s Music Sewing Box
Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer — Grandmother Music Sewing Box
Grandma Eva’s Musical Sewing Box that plays, “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”
Her patchwork quilt so lovingly made for me the first child of her only surviving son, my Dad Edward G. Palmer was like an umbilical cord linking us together. Now both my grandmother and my Dad have long since passed on but every time I see quilts I think of Grandma. Some threads represented the sons she lost to Polio other threads her grandchildren representing the next generation. And I possess her quiet strength and strong faith to endure tragedies and celebrate triumphs.
Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer. My Dad’s Mom. She married my Grandfather William Julius Palmer on Jan. 15, 1919. My grandmother was 27 when she got married to my grandfather who was 40. My grandmother was a Milliner, my grandfather a shipping clerk. I have very vague memories of her.
When I read the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker which is supposed to be a riff on the Bible’s Prodigal son I the good girl, the faithful daughter became the prodigal daughter who eventually returned to the fold. Every so often whether permitting I make my pilgrimage to Harlem to walk the streets of the Harlem Renaissance and every day people like William and Eva Palmer raising a family on a shipping clerk’s salary. My Grandfather William Palmer taking the kids to Mt. Morris Park (Now Marcus Garvey Park) on an outing.
My Grandfather William Palmer with four of his children at Mt. Morris Park around 1926. My Dad Edward G. Palmer is not in the photo because he was not born until 1930. The little boy on my GrandDad’s lap later died from polio.
Sometimes I can still remember traveling to Harlem with my Dad to visit my Grandma Eva. In my mind I’m still walking around her large apartment. I see my Aunt Eva’s piano. I see my Dad looking out the window while playing with the window blind cords and then I hear my Grandmother’s voice telling him to stop and for all of us to come eat.