I love looking at quilts. Studying the colors of the material, the patterns, and the stitches fascinates me. I tried starting a quilt one afternoon. After spending hours cutting scraps of material, piecing them together, then sewing each one with care, I ended up with a lop-sided rectangle of mismatched edges. That was the end of my quilt making, but I still marvel at each one I see.
I have a few quilts, made by others much more talented and patient than I will ever be. One of my most cherished quilts was made by my grandmother Katherine. My mother had it and gave it to me forty years ago; explaining how Grandma
carefully pieced together swatches of material from worn out clothing. As outfits of my aunts and uncles became too threadbare to wear, Grandma would save scraps for quilts. At one point my mom pointed out whose clothes were placed in the pattern, but sadly I don’t remember any more. I often wonder how long it took Grandma to cut and put together each piece and then sew it by hand.
My mom used the quilt on her bed, but I’ve always kept it packed away for safekeeping. I take it out every now and then to study it, running my fingers along the stitch lines thinking how Grandma pushed the needle in and out of the layers, creating a memory for generations to come.
My mother-in-law Sandy made quilts and gave them as gifts one year. I appreciated the time and love she put in to creating my quilt and used it for many years. After it began to show the signs of use I packed it away to preserve the material and stitch work. As I studied it today, I realized how many separate pieces make up each main design, all fitted together to form a perfect layout. Much more patience than I will ever have.
In the same box I found one last quilt, made for one of my children. Over the years it was used again and again, and then packed away as each child outgrew their crib. I realize after looking through my box of quilts, I not only thought of the person responsible for making each quilt, but also for those touched by their handiwork.
Quilted memories bringing back history pieced together one stitch at a time.