A quilt is more than fabric,batting and stitches, It is a rare and wonderful creation of the soul which expresses our personal statements, our likes and dislikes, feelings, thoughts and loves. It is a bridge that encourages friendships. It supports our need for recognition,as we dislpay it proudly to the applause of admirers. It links us with those who've stitched before andwho will follow as it gives a wordlesss but meaningful description of who we are and what we feel. A quilt is all these-and more: it is the emodiment of love. (Diane McClun and Laura Nownes)
Quilts give us a chance to express our need for giving. It always amazes me how a quilt comforts both the giver and the recipient. A number of years ago, I made a jar quilt. It was a simple quilt that I made as a joke for my sons. At the time, this was a popular pattern and most people filled their jars with bugs and other creepy crawly things that young people collect. In my jars, I decided to put different kinds of fruit and vegetables in my jars to relect my goal to have some food items on hand for hard times. Since we have limited storage space, most of my canning went under the beds. It was a joke or fear of my sons that one day they would come home and their beds would be high off the ground (like the princess and the pea story) due to the number of canning jars beneath them.
My sister loved this quilt and begged me to give it to her. Instead of parting with mine, I gave her the materials to make one of her own. Since she was not a quilter at the time I thought is was a perfect way to spend some time with her doing something I loved. She worked very hard to finish that quilt. I helped her cut out the fabric and she sewed. When she left my home she had a completed quilt top but it was not quilted yet. She enlisted the help of an older lady in the community she lived. This lady took her under her wing and showed her how to sandwich the layers of the quilt together and to quilt it.
Several months after the quilt was complete, she called me. She said "You'll never guess what I did with the quilt?" "I gave it away!" One of our cousin's sons was in the hospital having a very serious heart operation. She had taken her quilt to the hospital and had given it to him. He was so thrilled. During his recuperation, it was his constant source of comfort. It is funny, my sister wanted that quilt so bad. Yet, she gave it away. This quilt gave my sister such joy making it but I think it gave her greater joy giving it away.
The next quilt my sister made was for our father. She collected fabrics for months to have just the right ones. She just finished the quilt and was planning a triphome to give it to him but before she could, my father passed away. She was very disapointed that Dad never got to feel the warmth and the love that went into that quilt. She decided that Dad still needed his quilt. It was a touching moment in th funeral home when she placed the quilting lovingly over my father. The joy in her eyes was a priceless gift.
Ask any quilter why she made a quilt and there is always a story. I made this quilt for a new grandchild, or for a daughters wedding or as a gift for a son coming home from his mission or for a friend who has cancer.
What ever reason you decided to learn to quilt, I'm glad you did! May you find as much joy in the process as I have.