My Favorite Quilts
I am a big fan of quilts. You are probably thinking ho-hum, or even duh? After all, is there anyone who is against quilts? Surely not cover hogs, blanket thieves, stitching grandmothers, or residents of northern climates.
My favorite thing about quilts is what they communicate. Traditional quilt patterns honor the big events in life: a marriage, a birth. Quilts provide quiet testament to Biblical passages, concepts of family identity, glimpses into history. Quilts raise awareness and money for worthy causes. Making or giving a quilt to someone says “I love you”.
Wait. My favorite thing about quilts is their capacity to renew us. The scraps piecing them together, no longer worn out, together are a part of something bigger, better. Quilts are there when we are sick, and encourage us to hang out, watching movies in our pajamas, anytime. When soiled, they can always be washed.
No, my favorite thing about quilts is that they connect us to one another. I once made a quilt with my Grandmother. We sewed, and talked, for hours straight. I am confident that many friendships, maybe even social movements, have originated among women joined in quilting circles. That’s the process of quilting.
The finished projects also connect us. Fabrics chosen, even once worn, by individuals, sometimes spanning generations, are sewn together. Wrapping ourselves in a particular quilt reminds us of the quilter, possibly, or another loved one.
I suppose I have a quilt collection, each special in a different way. The one that I won from a dollar raffle ticket evidences the care and craftsmanship of individuals I’ve never even met. My, now 91 year old Grandmother made me a quilt to take to my college dorm, twenty years ago, when my favorite color was tan. My Army quilt forever links me to service with a fellow officer. But it is my two newest quilts which shroud me in healing and give peace to my soul. Made from my late-husband’s T-shirts, one celebrates the interests and vibrancy of his 36 years. The other, composed of twelve more of the T shirts he wore, will help our 2 year old son to know his Dad.
I’ve decided; my very favorite thing about quilts isn’t about the quilts. The true comfort of quilts isn’t about fabric, batting and thread, or even just about snuggling away the cold. They are symbolic. Like life, a quilt is not about what’s right in front of you, it’s really all about who is underneath.
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