Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Quilt

Thirty-two years ago I made my first quilt.

It's a Log Cabin, arranged in the Barn Raising design. I don't remember where I got the pattern for it, but it was well before the time of rotary cutters and strip piecing.

The center is red, then it's orange, yellow, green, then blue, then green, then yellow and then orange in the corners. Many of the fabrics were a polyester/cotton mix, because that's what was available. Oranges were hard to come by, and purples were impossible. 100% cotton? Not in my area.
The logs were 1" wide finished. The quilt has a poly filling, was backed with a sheet and was tied.

Over the years the seams have come apart, the ties have disappeared and the colors faded. It looks awful.

But when I dug it out of its storage spot in the basement last week to show my son's girlfriend who is interested in making a Log Cabin Quilt, my son immediately lay claim to it.
He loves it, which serves as a reminder to all of us that it's often the emotional aspect of the quilt that is valued most by the people we love. They don't care if we ran out of one fabric, if the backing is pieced or if the seams don't line up. They could care less if the design is from a pattern, a book, a kit, or out of your head. They don't care if the fabric came from a quilt shop or from wal-mart.

It matters that it came from your hands, and represents your love.

As my son wrapped himself in this quilt, he inhaled deeply and said, "I love the way it smells. It's my past."

My birthday is not until next week. But I think just got the best present I could ask for.

22 comments:

3anklebiters said...

each time i run my hand over my quilt i think of my granny, our time together choosing patterns, sorting scraps, cutting, piecing, assembling and finally giving the quilts as gifts to family members. each has its own story and its own memories.

Mishkat said...

I don't think it looks awful at all! And your son looks so happy. I make a lot of quilts for my family and they really like all of them - however imperfect - and some of them were pretty bad!

P.S. My first quilt got "used up" a long time ago, but it was great that it got used!

Sherry said...

You couldn't of said it any better. I love the fact that the way I feel and guys also have the same feeings. So cool. I hope your sons girlfriend does make here quilt and have wonderful memories doing it.

Nadine said...

Yes! It's a beautiful quilt, and a wonderful story. And how blessed we are that we have families who appreciate the work of our hands. Thanks for sharing this moment. You got me all teary eyed already, and I just got up! :)

Sharon said...

OK, that made me teary! What a sweet story. And you're right - we need to remember what's really important in our quilts. Kind of like The Velveteen Rabbit, huh?

Hope this makes sense. . .I'm just about to stumble into bed!

Deborah said...

Shortly after Billy was born, I bought an oversized flannel nightgown. It was so wide, I could get my legs up inside to keep warm. There are many a photo of me asleep with a baby in my arms wearing that nightgown. A few years back, the hole ridden nightgown was put in the Good Will bag. Billy rescued it stating that I could use the good part around the hem in a quilt. Maybe a quilt for his child someday. Someday I'll have to explain to a daughter in law why I am making a purple and green plaid baby quilt! Happy almost birthday!

Anita in Florida said...

What a wonderful story! I love the quilt and the smile on your son's face says it all.

The Devil Dog said...

That is so true. Mom has a quilt her memere made for her, and she treasures it.

Roxy

Jackie said...

A terrific story! Your son is so right too. I feel that way when I go to my parents and find something from my past. The quilt looks beautiful in the photo and I am sure it looks beautiful in person.

Mary said...

Oh yes! I love first quilts, and it's a shame when we notice a flaw and obsess about it because the people who receive a quilt know that they are truly loved by us. You have such a handsome son and I can completely relate to what he said about an old, well-worn quilt giving cues to the past. The way they smell, feel, etc. I remember my Mom used to keep a hand-pieced grandmother's flower garden quilt in the back of the station wagon when we were little. We napped on it on long car rides, laid it down on hot beach sand in the summer (I know - I still cringe when I think about how that quilt was used and abused). It was absolutely thread bare and now both my Grandmother and the quilt are gone. Thank you for sharing your first quilt with us - it is beautiful!

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

that is sooo sweet. and actually a great first quilt - lots of great color and energy. may be worth retying some ties....

Susan R said...

Lynn, That is one of the reasons I started quilting last November. My memories of my great grandmothers "Grandmothers Flower Garden" quilt is one of my prized memories. And now I have a little one (19 month old grandson) to pass something of myself down too... I want to leave something on this planet to the ones I love that reminds them of the best parts of me.

Oh how I wish I had that quilt. Your son and his smile says it all. My daughter (36) loves the quilts I'm making and from one mom to another...enjoy!

Quiltdivajulie said...

Skipped the other comments until I finish adding my own ~ you have captured in words and photos WHY I quilt. It is personal, emotional, and necessary.

THANK YOU for sharing this post with us ... may it remind us that it has nothing to do with quilt shows or quilt police but EVERYTHING to do with sharing a part of ourselves.

GARI said...

How wonderful to be loved so much.

Sara said...

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! What a wonderful gift!!! To know how much that quilt means...You are in deed lucky!

Holly said...

That is awesome and what a sweet son.

Cherie said...

What a terrific birthday present! I cry at Hallmark commercials so you know what happened when I read your post...... :)

Derby said...

It is beauteous Millie's mom! Best of all it was made with love.

Magpie Sue said...

Oh, well said! And happy birthday :- )

Diva Quilts said...

Awww! I love this post! I hope my oldest loves the one I'm making for him as much as yours loved his. :)

(And like Tonya said - I'd re-tie some ties!)

Diva Quilts said...
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Selvage Quilter said...

That is the best kind of quilt story there is! Thank you for sharing it.