Why I Love Quilts

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I have always loved quilts.   Growing up, a quilt was symbolic of not only warmth and protection, but also love.  Women make quilts for the ones they love, and they are often a gift of celebration.  For example, tradition in my family dictates that a quilt is a gift for a new bride or the birth of a child.  The quilt is a way of taking all of the love that the maker has and showing it through the difficult task of putting it together.  Throughout my life, I have been given many quilts, including some of the ones I’ll feature here.  I just went around and snapped pictures of the quilts and other blankets that I had in my living room, but if I went into storage I’d have many more pictures to take.  When I started thinking about it today, I realized that quilts are a very early form of recycling.  Taking fabric scraps or worn out clothing and turning them into a warm, beautiful quilt is truly an expression of being eco-friendly.

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The quilt above is my favorite.  It was made by Grandma Rose (my great-grandmother on my Dad’s Dad’s side), and I’m pretty sure it was a gift for my brother Jonathan, but I have it now!  It held a place of honor on the couch in our appartment, and now it lives on the back of our couch here.  It’s mostly on display, be we still use it on cold winter nights.

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This quilt was the baby quilt that Grandma Rose made for me.  It’s mostly yellow with hints of blue and pink, since my gender was a surprise for my parents.  It is the perfect little size to fit on the back of our love seat.  I love the Bambi print on the back side of the quilt, because it makes me think of my own pet deer Bambi that we had when i was young.  (Maybe I’ll write more about Bambi in a future post).

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Here’s the afghan that Mema (my Mom’s Mom) made for Ed the Christmas after we got engaged.  As Mema stated, she has made an afghan for all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and Ed was no exception.  Mema has also made me quite a few hand-made gifts, and taught me to sew, knit and crochet, in addition to making an enormous wardrobe for my Barbies.  I can still vividly picture the Holly Hobbie quilt she made for me, the Chicken and Egg quilt she made for Jonathan, and the Farm quilt she made for Nathaniel.  (Maybe someday I’ll steal those two quilts, too).

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And here’s the most recent addition to our handmade blanket collection: a beautifully woven blanket from Grammy (Ed’s grandmother).  This blanket was given to me at my bridal shower, and I couldn’t help but feel like this officially made me part of Ed’s family.  Once a grandmother hand-makes a gift for you, you’re in.  She made a similar blanket for Ed’s brother Chris and his wife Melissa when they got married, to carry on tradition.

Although I have yet to actually finish any quilt that I have started, I know that someday I will.  But I have to say that I love the fact that women would traditionally use scraps or worn-out clothes, and I know that I will probably buy fabric specifically for a quilt project.  I’m adding finishing a quilt to the list of things that I’ll try to accomplish over summer vacation.

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2 Comments

Filed under Home, Sewing, Sustainable Living

2 Responses to Why I Love Quilts

  1. Wow, Ab! I’ve been away from your blog too long! I love what you’ve added, especially about quilts. There is such a rich heritage and so many memories in these special hand-made blankets. Grandma Rose would be so proud to see how much you enjoy her handiwork. Remember her treadle sewing maching in her kitchen? Still, she preferred to sew her quilt pieces together by hand. I never thought of the process as recycling materials, but that is exactly what it is. For Grandma, it was probably just good Yankee ingenuity.

    Mema continues to carry on the tradition of making afgans for all her grandchildren and greatchildren–whether by birth or marriage. When I was up at Mema’s the other day she showed me one she is working on for her granddaughter Beth’s new husband, David. At 85 and with her sight compromised due to advanced glaucoma, she continues to crochet “by touch,” which is amazing to me! I actually spent the night there that night, to keep her company as she had just returned from the hospital after a bout with flu and pneumonia, and I cuddled up on her couch with a handmade quilt. It brought back so many memories–including your father’s and my dating days, visiting right there in that same room.

    Abbie, thanks so much for keeping these memories alive today. I know that Mema and Ed’s Grammy would both enjoy seeing the photos of their afgans on your site!

    Lots of love,
    Mom

  2. Stephanie Bardwell

    Hello,
    My sister Sarah Kyrcz shared this website with me and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the recipes and the thoughts and feelings you shared. I especially enjoyed the section on quilts because I am a quilter. I have made many different types of quilts and made one for Sarah’s daughter. My Aunt Mildred made quilts for all the grandchildren in our family and Sophia had loved her quilt to threads. She so loves her new quilt and I hope she enjoys it as much as her precious quilt. It’s such a nice tradition to share talents with the ones you love.
    Regards,
    Stephanie

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