Because I'm like that--obsessive, I mean--I tend to gather great heaping quantities of fabric, and dozens of ideas and tools, thread, yada, yada, yada. You know, everything one needs to do the work.
For years I wanted to learn to quilt. I mean years. I've been sewing since I was about ten. And even as a little girl, sleeping beneath the handmade quilts of my grandmother who was raised by her mother and grandmother on the Kansas prairie to do such work, I've wanted to follow in their footsteps. Er, handprints? Their quilts were made from used up clothing and flour sacks...and I remember fingering the squares and imagining the stories of each piece. As I got older, I really wanted a bedspread or comforter--like my friends had. Something matching, rather than the multi-hued, age-bleached ragged quilts on our beds.
But when I became an adult, the desire to quilt returned. Picked up steam. It was like a magnet to my grandmother, her grandmother. My whole Kansas prairie heritage, perhaps.
I kept putting off the 'try.' Thinking I needed to take a class or something. But finally, with kids out of the house, I took a big gulp, plugged my nose and took a swan dive into quilting. My first attempt was made without a pattern, or how much fabric would be needed (I never have been good at math!), how to cut, or even sew seams so they'd lay flat. But somehow, it hooked me.
Here's that attempt (dog not included!):
The one below was my first attempt using a pattern. And can I just say? FAR TOO HARD for a beginner. I hadn't the faintest idea what I was doing. Really. Thankfully, the friend it was made for is full of grace...has never mentioned the mistakes.
Since then, I've made dozens of quilts. By my last count, I'm at 75 as of the one I gave away Wednesday. These are my latest offerings.
This is a baby quilt made for a friend who is due to pop any second. Maybe as I write this. Or as you're reading it. She (with her husband) is a very good friend of E's. Her parents are our next door neighbors, and her sister had a baby just 3+ months ago.
This baby quilt will belong to Beve's oldest nephew's second child who is due the beginning of next month. D (or N as we know him) and his wife like bold colors. So I went bold. The only pattern on the quilt are three squares with lambs, which came from a nightshirt from Beve's sister, Glo. I carefully cut out every lamb from that shirt in hopes that I'll have enough to grace Wiley baby quilt with a reminder of their lovely Auntie Glo, who so loved their parents.
And just Wednesday I put the binding on this quilt for my Aunt and Uncle. Originally I intended this to be for our family cabin on Whidbey Island. But once it was finished, Beve and J were so impressed with it (Beve said, "It's my favorite quilt so far!") that they thought I should just give it to my Auntie. So I did. Sent it down to Seattle with my girls as the delivery women, who made my dear Auntie tear up. She says it is the absolute PERFECT colors for her bedroom and "I've never had a homemade quilt before."
And that's good enough for me.
In fact, that's the whole point. To bless those God puts on my heart to bless. Wherever, whenever He says. It's something I can do. And love to do. And is part of a heritage that reaches back generations to the Kansas prairie.