Mormor's Quilt

Quilt by Marie Rodholm
Quilt by Marie Rodholm

I knew her as Mormor, my mother's mother, and one of the finest people I have ever known. Marie Rodholm was the life partner of S.D. Rodholm, a highly respected translator, writer, painter, religious scholar, minister and President of Grand View College. S.D. was the immigrant but Marie was the daughter of immigrants. A first generation Dane, she grew up speaking only Danish in her home. She was the daughter of Peter Kjolhede, a pillar of the Danish Lutheran Church in America and well versed in how to manage a preacher's home. While she was not the first student at GVC, she was one of them and eventually married S.D. Rodholm the first graduate. Marie was known as one of the first Ladies of the Danish Lutheran Church. Her daughter, my mother Miriam shared with me that Mormor's roles included being housemother to all of the students at Grand View College, cooking, cleaning, washing, baking while raising eight children. Her joys included reading, gardening and sewing. This quilt is one of many made by Marie using fabrics from the dresses she made for her daughters. My mother recalled that one day Mormor made six dresses  during the day and embroidered them that night. This quilt has pieces from my mother's childhood dresses and each grandchild was given a similar quilt made by Marie. Marie loved her Danish heritage and was happy our family continued to follow so many traditions. These quilts were the ultimate hygge in our bedrooms, cozy, full of memories and made with love. 

Place(s): Denmark
Year: 1880

– Renee Showaler Hanson

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant