Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quilts = Security + Comfort...


Quilts have always held importance for me. I really can't explain it, other than I love history, I love fabric, color and I love to sew. Any picture or drawing of a quilt instantly gets my attention. I like to imagine color combinations for them, and though I am not much of a quilter, I have made one or two, I still want quilts around me. I have no precious heirloom quilts (I wish I did!) but I like quilts simply for the warmth, weight and feel of them as I lay under them in bed.

Quilts may not be necessary like they once were, but is there anything more useful, practical and timeless? They are beautiful subjects for photographs, especially if they're flappin' in the breeze on the line on a beautiful day!


I have raised my kids to sleep under quilts, and they always have had one on their bed. I cannot even imagine sleeping a night without a quilt on me, even in the summer. I've tried to like comforters, but I can't. They're slippery and too light, they don't lay right.

Granted, in the summer, it's only ONE quilt....but now that fall has come, I've been thinking: it's time to go to the linen closet and pull out more and get them washed and on the line while the weather still allows. I will layer them now that the weather's getting colder. Quilts just make fall, winter, and early spring cozier and warmer, they help to make our house a home.

When a quilt is worn out, I have a terrible time saying goodbye to it. I have a couple in the house that are 25 years old, and I still keep them, even though they're threadbare and don't match anything that I have.

One of the most precious quilts I have is one that my husband's grandmother pieced together by hand in her late years as she was confined to a chair. It is made all of plaid scraps and is a nine-patch with each nine patch bordered. She hand quilted it once it was all pieced and we have used it for years. First on beds, and then as it aged, it became the quilt that we use in our Suburban, and has traveled with us all over the country.


It has been used in the back seat by the kids, for a cozy nap for us after a long stint of cross-country driving, on the beach, for picnics, and to cover ourselves with during cold and blustery football or baseball games. It has padded antiques and finds for a ride home from a flea market or a garage sale, been put under pets as I take them to the vet's office.


In that quilt are stitched many memories, not only of Momo, who made it, but of all the life that has taken place with it underneath or on top of us. That quilt is stitched into all of our lives over the years and I hope someday, that one of my kids will want it, threadbare and worn, to keep for their own family to make memories on.

I have plans, grand ones, for when I am all done raising children and I look forward to their visits, when I no longer need to dye my gray hair and I have "more time". I plan to make a lot of quilts and in the meantime, I love looking at and enjoying quilts, any chance that I get.

DO YOU LIKE QUILTS?

11 comments:

Aspiemom said...

I love quilts, too, but only own a store-bought, machine-stitched one. I made one for a wall-hanging once, but someone admired it and offered me money and...stupid me, I sold it to her!

I love your post about quilts and how they've been a part of your life. Makes me want to curl up in one right now!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

I love that you wrote this post Joni!!! YES YES YES, I love quilts too! Unfortunately... I don't have enough of them. My mother is a quilter and she has made one for each of my kids. (Don't tell anyone because my son would be mortified...) ... but my middle son slept with his quilt from the day he was born until he was 18. I asked every now and then if he was ready to let me put it in his "box" (which is a keepsake box full of mementos)... but he refused until the day he left for college. It was in tatters, but that didn't matter. He used to wad it up and sleep on it like a pillow. We never bugged him about it. I thought it was darling... that a boy would love a quilt his Nana made for him for all those years. One day I will pull it out and give it back to him when he has his first child. I wonder if it will bring a little sentimental tear to his eyes? I think so... though he may not let me see it. (: xx Vicki

Kathleen Grace said...

I love quilts too. I found a gorgeous old embroidered quilt at a flea market this summer for $1! Of course it was stained brown and smelled so bad I had to drive home with the windiws down, lol! A good soak in Biz and it came out white and beaituful. I am also beginning to learn to quilt and hope to get a couple finished for my daughters for Christmas:>)

Julie said...

I love quilts too! Mine are all store bought. Oh well I love them just the same. Some of my old tattered ones I just made into pillows because I couldn't part with them.

~~Carol~~ said...

I hate to say goodbye to summer, but I love pulling out all the quilts, and layering the beds too! What a wonderful family heirloom that nine patch is! It sure has seen a lot of use, but is still treasured. I have two quilts that my grandma made, but I'm afraid to put them on the beds, because no one will take care of them the way I do!

Kathie Truitt said...

Yes, I love quilts. I have my husband's Mamaw Willy's quilt, and several of my grandmothers that are about a 100 years old. Oh, if those quilts could talk....

That is the sweetest picture of your little boy with the dog.

LillySue said...

Yep, I am a quilt lover too. I just don't have the patience to make them myself.
I still have Holly's crib quilt her paternal Granny June made her 17 years ago up on the wall in my bedroom. It was the last quilt she made herself before she passed away.
Blessings~LillySue

texasdaisey said...

Your beautiful blog never fails to make me smile. I just love it here.
Debbie

Mary your sis said...

I love quilts. One day I'll learn how to make them. I was in a junque shop today saw and beat-up, chippy painted old chairs with seats covered in parts of quilts. Cute as could be! BTW: When are we going to see your kitchen re-do completed? I can't wait!

Donna said...

I have 3 Amish quilts which I use on our bed. I rotate them out with the seasons. It's hard to believe that they are now about 25 years old! Still going strong (though a bit faded, LOL)! I have some antique quilts too, which I use for decoration. One was made by DH's grandma from old seed sack fabrics, and it is the lovely grandmother's flower garden pattern. We look at it everyday because it is hanging on a railing between the kitchen and breakfast room!

Anonymous said...

I am a hand-piecer, hand-quilter, as were my grandmother, her sisters, and their mother. I have some lovely heirloom quilts, one maybe made by my great-great grandmother, but we aren't certain. It is important to store them properly, wrapped in acid-free tissue or in 100% cotton, such as old sheets or pillow cases. They should be aired periodically, but not in the sun, since the old fabrics really fade and deteriorate from direct sunlight or even a lot of artificial light. I am 67, so these quilts are really OLD! Newer fabrics also benefit from this care. Refold them ever so often...in thirds instead of fourths, or roll them if you have room. Wash them gently, only as needed, and dry them in the shade. If you make one, or if you know about an old one you own, make a label with the name and city of the maker and the date made, written in permanent fabric ink or embroidered, and sew it on the back. I never allow anybody to lie directly on top of a hand-pieced or appliqued quilt...store-bought ones are for that; we sleep under the handmade ones, which puts no strain on the fabrics and stitches. These are works of art that take many months to make; respect them as such, please!