To me, quilts represent comfort. They also represent love. They tie my family together throughout several generations. I simply love my quilts.
I love my quilts so much, that I have at least one in every room that I spend any real amount of time in.
There are three quilts in my home that mean the world to me. One, simply because it reminds me of my childhood visiting my grandmother. It is the quilt I always slept under in her home. A few years ago she let me bring it to my home and I snuggled with it the entire car ride from Mississippi to Virginia.
The other two are quilts that I quilted by hand. The first belonged to my mother-in-law. It was gifted to her by someone in her family, and the quilting was quite a mess from use. (A well-loved quilt might need repair, but it is heartening to see!) I offered to repair it and did so. I spent an entire winter quietly sewing away with my lap hoop.
It was a learning experience for sure. I tried to stick close to the original quilting pattern and restore it to its old glory. My mother-in-law then gifted it to me. It is very fragile, so I mostly keep it stored since I don’t currently have anywhere to properly display it. My dream is to figure out a way to display it without it getting used.
Working on that quilt reminded me that my great-grandmother made a quilt top specifically for me. She only pieced it, and my mother was to quilt it for me. For whatever reason, this never happened. I dug the quilt top out and decided I wanted to complete the work. It was a twin, meant for my childhood bed. Obviously, as an adult, a twin quilt wouldn’t serve my bed any good, however I still have my childhood bed.
Once more I pulled out the lap hoop. I researched different methods of quilting this particular pattern. To be honest, when I first looked at the top again I did not really care for it. It was made from old scraps of fabric and were not in any colours I particularly favor or use in my home.
That said, it represented something to me that helped me look past that. It represented my long quilting family history. It also spoke of love, my great-grandmother didn’t even know me. She just knew she was getting yet another great-granddaughter and wanted to make me something. That is pure love. A quilt top is not easy to make! It also is the quality of work I hope to one day emulate in my own piecing.
Another winter went by, with me under a quilt-in-progress. Once I finished it, I loved each and every fabric in the quilt. The colours do not match anything in my house, but I immediately put it on my childhood bed. Then I climbed in the bed, under the quilt, and thought about my great-grandmother as she had recently passed on.
The quilt, since then, has come off that bed. My house gets cold and so I curl up in this quilt while watching TV. And I love it.
The two quilts would not be ones I might choose to make. Certainly not with the fabric choices. However, spending so much time toiling over the quilts, I came to love them as much as any quilt top I made. I learned that I can love things that might not necessarily be “me”. I definitely got out of my comfort zone. Most of all, I let my heart turn towards the women in my family that quilted before me, proud that I could carry on their legacy.
I love what quilting gives to me. I wish I had more time and better hands to quilt. There is an inner zen like peace when I am steadfastly engaged in quilting by hand. Perhaps that’s why I find such comfort when I wrap myself with a quilt. I catch a taste of that peace. It is as though the loving arms of someone wrapped around me with the quilt.
It is… comfort.
PS: I entered this post in the Bloggers Quilt Festival 2010. If you have come from that, welcome! If you enjoy quilts, you might like to go see the others featured. If you love quilts, you might want to avoid for fear of gushing like a schoolchild like I did. It’s an amazing group of beautiful quilts. Wow. If you are a quilter, quick, hurry before the festival link up closees! Blog! Blog now! And don’t forget what you are thankful for… here’s a good one: oodles of pretty fabrics to fondle and enjoy!