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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Q Is For Quilting Memories

The special appeal of making patchwork quilts is that you find yourself crafting with your soul. Woven into every quilt we make are bits of imagination, history and memories. One of my most rewarding projects is a special collection of miniature quilts.


Even the materials used had special significance. I had the privilege  during her last few months of caring for my youngest sister who died of a brain tumor. We worked together, tying up the loose strands of life’s business as she prepared for her homecoming. Also an avid crafter, she gave me permission to pack up anything I wanted to take home with me.

Upon my return, there were several boxes of material I had shipped confronting me. I gave some thought to what I’d like to do with all this newly acquired supply. I wanted some task that would commemorate my sister’s passing and help ease the grief of her loss. I decided to use Jeannette’s material to construct miniature quilts for my three remaining sisters and myself. Since we all live in different states, these quilts would be a way to remember one another and the sister who was no longer with us. To make them extra special, I used my sister’s accumulation of Christmas prints.

I am a novice quilter, seeking only to create a pleasing finished product. So, my first attempt was a basic Nine Patch quilt and was destined for a sister who lived in Connecticut. My next project followed a pattern called the Snail’s Trail. I knew the intricacy of the pattern would be appreciated by a sister who also loved to sew. This challenged my skills but after a few false starts, I was satisfied with the results.

By now, creating quilts took up an ever-increasing part of my life. For a third sister’s quilt, several patterns appealed to me. I couldn’t decide which to do. I solved the problem by making my next quilt a sampler. I made individual blocks of each of those patterns and put them together in a quilt which would go to my sister living in Arizona.

The following Christmas, each quilt was lovingly packaged with an explanatory note and mailed. Not until a year later did I find time to make that last quilt–my own. Each time that season of the year comes around, I take out my special quilt to display it. It has become a constant reminder of my “growing up years” in the midst of a loving family and causes my thoughts to dwell on those I love, both here on earth and gone ahead.

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