Don’t you just love clever people? Park City Girl is hosting a Blogger Quilt Festival and there are, currently, more than four hundred folks participating.
Perhaps some of you remember this quilt, above. Neither Dave nor I remember from whose family it came, perhaps his, perhaps mine. It’s a crazy quilt with random materials including wools, cottons, silks and is in fairly good shape. There’s no date nor signature so it’s a guess as to how old it is but at least several decades, perhaps one hundred years or more. That sounds so old but when I think one hundred years ago would just be 1909, that doesn’t sound so old.
This quilt was made by Aunt Esther in the 1930’s and has seen a bit of use, resulting in a bit of wear. It’s no longer used on a bed but hangs on the wall where it can be seen and admired. I want to make a label for it with Aunt Esther’s name and date so future generations will know from whence it came. Aunt Esther has made hundreds, perhaps thousands, of quilts in her day; she’ll be 92 in January and is still quilting, crocheting, tatting, etc. She makes apple butter in the fall, strawberry jam in the spring, hunts for morels, ramps and lives on her own. I’m going to see her next month and we’ll have nice chin wags as we talk over old times and family.
Note to self…start labeling my own quilts! -smile-
This quilt is a Tricia Cribbs Turning Twenty pattern and one of a couple of dozen I’ve made. I’m not a fancy quilter but I do hand quilt and enjoy choosing various materials, designs and colors. In this quilt, each block has either hand quilted hearts, the names of Dave’s cousin and his wife, their marriage date and a cross. Thus far, I’ve made quilts for almost everyone in my family and a lot of my friends. It’s something I enjoy doing and one of my earliest memories, from age four or five, is of Granddaddy Bennett handing Mom and Daddy a five dollar bill and saying, “Here, take this money and buy the babies each a blanket. Don’t let them get cold, keep them warm this winter.” Mom would have bought two blankets, one each for my brother and I, and had change left over from that five dollar bill. In Appalachia, then as now, a lot of folks are concerned with needs – food, shelter, clothing – and wants come after.
I hope folks enjoy receiving one of my quilts or, ‘deed, anything I’ve hand made. It’s a labor of love, as you well know if you do hand work, and one of the most defeating emotions is the one when someone looks at their gift, the work of my hands and heart, and says, “oh. thanks.” Granted, it’s a short list but those few folks will never, ever get anything other than store bought from me again. I don’t say that in anger but there are too many people who do appreciate hand made to waste it on folks who would rather have store bought. And that’s okay. Not everyone wants hand made, some think it cheap and mean and they would rather have store bought.
I’m not a grand quilter; truth be told, I’m only passable but I follow Mother Teresa’s dictates. She said, “None of us can do anything great on our own but we can all do small things with great love.” That’s why and how I quilt…it’s not great but it is done with great love and each quilt is made with prayers for the person who’ll receive it. I know they’ll sleep warmly and tucked, quite literally, into prayer.
I’ve read the smallest deed always exceeds the grandest of intentions. That’s so true, isn’t it? If you’ve often thought you’d like to learn to quilt or sew or knit or crochet or — fill in the blank, do it. Don’t wait for ‘some day’; today is the day, now is the time. What you make doesn’t have to be perfect and, in fact, the Amish always make a small “mistake” in their quilts because “only God is perfect”. This winter is going to be cold and someone, somewhere could use a bit of colorful happiness, in the form of a quilt or hand knit or crochet hat or scarf or something that’s warmly sewn. Do small things with great love; the rewards are out of this world.
Until next time,