Lots of love, for one thing. I have a bit of an interest in old things. Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by them: an old house, a fine collection of old quilts, a few old relics scattered around. Maybe it’s the older folks I’ve always enjoyed talking to, the stories they tell, the sparks they set off in my imagination.
I come from women who make beautiful things with their hands. Quilts are a work of art, though the grandmas I’ve had would brush off your compliments if you gave them. The best compliment you could give them, really, was to use the quilt they made.
And I do. Every night. There’s the quilt that Grandma worked on for years and gave us for our wedding. There’s the old quilt that my Great-Grandma made. There’s even the Holly Hobby quilt Grandma made me when I was a wee lass.
It’s only natural that, with quilts on my mind, I would write about them…so here’s a bit from a recent piece at Catholic Exchange:
At Christmas, my aunt gave me a quilt my great-grandmother made. It’s unlike anything else I own, aside from this hundred-year-old farmhouse. It was made at a time when quilting was different than it is now, when sewing machines were a luxury, not a necessity, and quilting by hand was a thing of beauty and pride. I don’t think, that at the time it was considered a great thing of beauty or anything to fawn over. I think Great-Grandma probably did what women of her generation did so well, and used the leftovers from around the house — maybe a scrap from an apron, an old dishrag, a piece from the baby’s discarded blanket. The texture of the material is soft with age, and it’s worn in a way that seems to make it smell different.
I had to take it off the bed the other day, because it’s time to wash it, and it’s been in my laundry room for a few days waiting patiently, brightening the room with its patchwork of oranges and reds and pinks. I hope it doesn’t lose that smell it had from my aunt’s linen closet, a smell that took me back to my earliest childhood memories, when I was huddled under a quilt much like it, up in Great-Grandma’s upstairs, surrounded by foreign antiques and the expectation of being seen and not heard.
You can read the rest over at Catholic Exchange. Enjoy!
The quilt I wrote about is the one on the left in the picture above. Close-up below.