Friday, September 29, 2006

My friend and I went to one of the local groups quilt shows today. Most of the quilts were quilted by machine but this one really caught my eye. I'm not sure how it was quilted as it wasn't in the handquilting we all see but more of an embroidery stitch. The displays were so close together I really couldn't get a full veiw of this beautifully done work. Being a handquilter, I can just imagine the many hours this took to complete.

I was disapointed seeing so many quilts done on the machine, not that machine quilting is a bad thing as I send many of mine out not having the time to handquilt each and every one of them. I miss the beauty of seeing all those tiny stitches so lovingly made. I miss the softness, the cuddly look of them.

SBS is all sandwiched ready to quilt and yes, I'm going to machine quilt her. She's a utility quilt, meant to be loved, used, abused and washed to death if necessary. Not a quilt to hang on the wall or save for the next generation down the line. I want the ones I make for my family to be used not stuffed in a acid free paper and put on a shelf, taken out for show. SewCatherine...yes there are Halloween blocks here.

When I first started quilting, I protected the quilts I made for my family like they were my children. I intiminated my kids to death with all the directions on how to care for and treat the quilts I had given them. I was appalled at my GS's when they made tents, wrapped themself up as they watched TV. Those quilts belonged on their beds, not abused. As I've gotten older in my quilting life, I've realized when I give a quilt, it's no longer mine and what that person does with it is OK. If they want to wash it every week, that's fine, if they want to sit on all those little stitches I put in by hand that's fine too and if they make my little grandkids happy in their tents, that's a good feeling. It's theirs, it no longer belongs to me. Our quilts are like our children, we give them birth, we watch them grow then send them out into the world and hope for the best. When they are tattered and torn we know they have been loved, not abused so we get out our stash and another quilt is born.

I wonder what the women of years past would think of us now. How we make quilts not to keep warm, not because we need bedding, not of pieces we've cut from worn out clothing but from rooms full of fabric we hoard. What would they think of quilts that grace the walls or decorate our tables, not a serviceable, utility quilt to lay under keeping warm.

We still make wedding, graduation, birth, memory, signature and many other quilts. We lovingly place them in protective custody, take them out for display and save them for generations to come. Years from now, they will be found in a closet, carefully wrapped up and saved and for what reason? Quilts are made with love and should be used with love.


John home for the weekend

Another good movie "Ladies in Lavender" with my GF

A fun day at the quilt show

Indian Summer days

Not finding a present from the Kitties on the floor


Rae said...

I think about what our foremothers would have thought, every time I come across one of my grandma's scrapbags or one of her quilts or quilt tops.
Yesterday while cleaning in my mother's house I came across 3 of my Grandma's quilts that had been on my mom's bedds for years. one had been used there for well over 56 years, posibly 60 plus years. It had been loved litteraly to pieces. It was a whole cloth quilt (not often made by Grandma). I am afraid it is irreparable. I don't think Grandma would feel bad. Her quilt was LOVED.


ForestJane said...

Kitty presents on the floor? Uggh... :(

I think even back then there were quilts that were saved for 'best' and utility quilts that were used every day. And if you're thinking about stash, my mom had quite a sizeable one 40 years ago - I loved to play in it before I was old enough to go to school. That and her big tin of buttons!

Melzie said...

WOW I cant say enough how cute this quilt is :) xoxo melzie

Nines said...

Amen!! I have made quilts for people that later I discover in closets- too precious to actaully use. I am so hurt by this- quilts are meant to be used!! To be slept under, knowing that someone loved them enough to put a lot of time and effort into their comfort and service. Either you use them, or the moths certainly will! My Great-grandmother was very poor, but she made beautiful quilts that fed the soul as well as served the body. There are still alot of us out here who feel the way she did- love is for everyday, not just special occasions!

Carol said...

Right from the start, when I gave away quilts I wanted them to be used! A couple of times people have told me they hung their baby quilts on the wall. I was so disappointed! I wanted to imagine the child dragging that quilt everywhere he/she went, loving it to pieces. But I have also learned to give away my control of the quilt when I give it as a gift. What the person does with it after I give it away is out of my hands. Some day, perhaps, if it comes down off the wall, someone will start to use it and love it up. Or maybe they'll just use it to cushion their piano when they move. I'm not going to pass along any rules when I give away my quilts.