Friday, May 18, 2012

BQF Spring 2012: Forgive Me, Quilty Mother .…

This Spring I have a confession to make:  I have committed the sin of Quilter’s Pride.  I allowed myself to forget why I do what I do.  Here is my confession:

Ordinarily I am a pragmatic gal, feet firmly planted.  I do not claim to create High Art, I take no sides in the Modern debate and I use fabric from any source that yields what feels like good quality.  I do feel a strong drive to get my creative ya-yas out and I do exercise those muscles when I quilt, but I have no illusions about what I produce;  DaVinci I ain’t.




Recently I realized I’d forgotten the most basic premise of my craft.  I got all caught up in my bees and swaps and quiltalongs, cooing over gorgeous new fabric lines, agonizing over getting things finished by (mostly self-imposed) deadlines, taking classes, and all that jazz.  I was on a social networking site one day and an acquaintance posted a photo of her first chemotherapy session.  She was all wrapped up, neck to toe, and apparently the nurses had put a heater beneath the blanket to help keep her warm.  I made some comment about it looking cozy. 
Three days later my tiny mind achieved the basic math:
I make blankets.  For fun.
Blankets are for keeping people warm.
Duh.











I had started this top as part of an Old Red Barn Co  quiltalong  but I hadn’t finished it.  It was humungous and I had a Plan for adding some bits but hadn’t done it yet.  It looked right at me and said, in the way our quilts sometimes do, “I’m the one; finish me and make me useful.”  I unpicked several blocks to bring it down to lap-sized.  Added my extra bits (the smaller plates at the joins) and then bordered, backed, quilted and bound. 
I frequently tell non-quilty folks that all quilters give to charity, it’s sort of built-in.  Well, I can give a quilt to the hospital to go to complete strangers or I can bypass a piece of that process and give one to a woman who is not quite a stranger and who has an immediate need.  Hopefully it will help keep her warm and comfortable during her therapy.











Blankets, after all, are for keeping folks warm. The art and science of making them beautiful is incidental.
Lesson learned, humility regained.   For my atonement I have offered up the Waltzing Matilda I’ve been hoarding for ages, using it for the borders and backing.  Hopefully it’s soft and lovely enough to make up for my transgression.
 











The technical details:  final size 46 x 67.  Large plates approximately 17” across, smaller plates approximately 6” across.  Fabrics from stash.  Quilted on my DSM using King Tut in a variegated turquoise.





















postscript:  the recipient loved the quilt, and sent me the most clever card as a thank you - she incorporated pics of the quilt into it!  Isn't that neat?

28 comments:

  1. Very nice sentiment and beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing both!

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  2. You're so right! Quilts are functional, but to us it's our creative outlet, our "art" and sometimes we forget what they're even for!
    Beautiful post, and the quilt is just lovely.

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  3. Thank you for this post! It came at the right time for me because I've been examining my own reasons for quilting. A very beautiful quilt!

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  4. Great post! As a quilter you are able to offer warmth and beauty both: what a sweet gift to be able to give to your friend.

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  5. What a comfort you've provided for your friend! It's beautiful!

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  6. love modern interpretations of traditional patterns

    margaret
    www.quiltsoflove.blogspot.com

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  7. A lovely quilt and beautiful gift. The card in return is indeed clever the way the quilt is incorporated.

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  8. It's a beautiful quilt and you have offered a great reminder to all of us. Don't lose sight of why you do what you do.

    I'm glad your friend liked it and sent such a cute card.

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  9. Really good to remember. Quilting is an art, but it's a functional one, and one I love to see being used for good causes. Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Yes good to remember the function of a quilt and to give to someone closer to home every now and then. A lovely gift. Good to visit you back for the festival!

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  11. Your quilt and your story are wonderful! A morality that we all can share with you. I love the card that you received. What a clever friend (she is after all, no longer an acquaintance, but now a friend). Hope her chemo is going well.

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  12. Beautiful Post! Thank you for reminding me of the reason we quilt. For love, comfort, and warmth. For family and friends - even those we may never meet. Thank you xoxo.

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  13. I recently had a similar epiphany and after talking with our friend's widow first, I found myself smuggling quilts into the funeral home for her and her daughter.

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  14. A beautiful quilt with a lovely story (those are the best kind of quilts).

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  15. I love your post. Wonderful thoughts and quilt.

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  16. Beautiful, heart warming and making people smile - so precious!

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  17. I love all of the pretty colors:)))

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  18. It's beautiful - the story AND the quilt. I think we all need a little kick in the pants every once in a while to remind us why we do what we do. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Lovely quilt!! Beautiful post, thanks for bringing us all down/around/and about to reality. A little reminder is always good.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

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  20. wow--what a fantastic story. i'm teary-eyed reading it! your quilt is just beautiful but sending it to someone truly in need is such a fantastic thing. i love it. and need to remember what you're saying also. most of my quilts are in fact for a specific person, but some aren't, or become so part way through. the process isn't the important thing, the resultant recipient is. thanks so much for sharing and have a great day

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  21. Isn't this one of the great things about quilts? That they can speak to us? Often they tell us things we need to know at that moment. Just like what happened to you. Thank you for this great reminder about the Why and the Who of quilting.

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  22. I love your story as much as your quilt. It really is a gift that needs to shared isn't it. Hope your friend is doing well!

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  23. Great quilt - thanks for sharing your epiphany as well!

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  24. Oh, no!
    You've just reminded me about another quilt I've intended to make!
    .....back to the drawing board.
    Margaret

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  25. Oh, Sally, this is such a moving & inspiring post ! THANKS for writing it, dear.
    XOXOXO
    NADINE

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