Quilts connect the past with the present and the future.
Since I let Wednesday slip by without thinking about it being Wednesday, I came up a post short on One Writer’s Journal this week. That happens sometimes when I’m trying to dig a new story out of my head and working toward a deadline. So I went into my blog archives and pulled out this post from 2012 about the quilt on the bed I slept in back when I was staying so many night at my mother’s house while she was ill. I didn’t actually sleep under this quilt. I very carefully folded it down to lay it aside.
This quilt that’s well over 100 years old is now in my sister’s care. We all consider it a family treasure. It was a gift to my great aunt for her wedding. Her sisters and friends had a quilting shower for her. They each embroidered their names on a piece of fabric and then all gathered to sew the pieces together with more fancy stitches. Here’s my grandmother’s name, Alva Bond. I don’t remember her since she died when I was two, but I can imagine her quilting her name here before she married – while she was young and anxious to fall in love and have her own family. Some of the other names are Ethie, Em, Hervie, Virgie. Old fashioned names. But young names at the time. Names of girls full of hope and laughter. You know they laughed as they worked to fit these crazy pieces together like a puzzle.
When I look at the quilt, I see a unique piece of family history, an evidence of caring and fun. A very real piece of art. Everyday art for them at the time. But amazing art for me as I think about how they were able to fit all those odd sized pieces together and come up with a quilt that doesn’t have odd corners.
I’ve always liked the crazy quilt patterns better than even the fanciest wedding ring patterns or basket patterns or whatever bit of amazing artistic design. The crazy quilt patterns speak to me.
“Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.”
I guess that’s why I like the crazy quilt pattern. It’s like life. Bits and pieces in all shapes and sizes, but when stitched together, it makes the whole fabric of our lives. Writing is that way too. A book is pieced together with bits of stories from a lot of different characters. Sometimes you can’t see how you’ll ever fit the pieces together and maybe sometimes you’ll have to throw aside a piece to use another time. But you have to get the important pieces – the ones with names on them – into the whole of the story. And the process can be crazy, but turn out beautiful sometimes in the end.
Hope you enjoyed this rerun post. I always appreciate you reading my journal.
Have you ever pieced together a quilt?