Monday, May 5, 2008

Remembering My "Abuelita"

Being that today was "Cinco de Mayo" it was fitting that I worked on this quilt. Why, you ask? Keep reading and I'll tell you why.

It is a sweet little quilt made up of embroidered blocks of all the state birds. It belongs to a friend of mine who's mother embroidered these blocks many years ago. She embroidered them before there were 50 states, you see. That would mean they were embroidered prior to 1959. There are only 48 state birds in this quilt. I'm still working on it, but I did manage to get this block done. Yeah, California! My favorite state! By the way, when I was younger I would see this kind of quail along the walking paths in my town. When I was really young, my dad raised quail in cages in our garage. And in case you ever wanted to know, it takes about 5 quail eggs to equal 1 chicken egg. I haven't seen these quail in years. Where did they all go? Oh my! I'm getting off subject!
As I worked on this quilt today, being Cinco de Mayo....I thought of my grandmother, my "abuelita", Augustina Rivera Torres. She came here from Mexico in the late 1920's with her 2 sisters. In the 1930's she became a US citizen. Once my aunt showed me the flag that my grandmother was given on the day she became a US citizen. It was very special to her. I remember it only had 48 stars on it. There were only 48 states then...just like when my friend's grandmother embroidered her 48 state birds.

I am proud of my "abuelita." She's been gone for many years now, but I remember how hard she worked. She was a wonderful cook too. My husband thought maybe I had inherited that talent, but sorry no. I wrote about it here: This poor guy thought he married a latina. Here is my grandmother about the time she came to the US. And here she is with my mother and her sisters and lots and lots of neices and nephews. I remember my grandmother always wore an apron. She's pictured on the far right. My mother is to the left of her.
I am proud of my latin heritage. My roots are made up of both American and Mexican. No, I didn't inherit the great cooking skills, but I did inherit the value of hard work and for that I am grateful. Gracias, mi abuelita!


Sarah said...

What a cool project to be working on...I love the old pictures of family too!

Shana May Rodriguez said...

Hey Viv--

First of all Happy Birthday!! And second I think that that quilt is so cool. My father has a quilt that someone in his family made that has the states flowers and as I recall has 48 states. It must have been a popular thing back then to have the states flower, bird, etc. on a personal item. I think it's neat, reminds me of 5th grade state reports.