Last week I picked up a patient that lives in the old historical home section of our town. The home is all beautiful old moulding and detailed finishing and as I walked back to his bedroom I peeked (as I always do) through doorways and around corners. The first spare bedroom held a high bed covered in a huge wedding ring quilt, crisp and colorful in the window light. Another room held more quilts and he himself was covered by a crocheted granny square blanket, the pattern one of black borders with bright centers. It made me happy to be there despite the fact that I was there to see a sick person.
Last week I also finished my first real quilt. In the past I have dabbled, a small child quilt here, some blocks that never came to be a quilt top there. But this one was special. I started it in Tahoe, alone in a quiet condo sewing away at the blocks that became a top that became a sandwich and finally ran in long lines through my little machine .... and became a quilt.
There is something so very satisfying about seeing it. It is big, enough to cover their queen bed. It is a little wonky and when I washed it, it shrunk quite a bit more than I realized.
It is simply pieced and simply quilted. I was nervous as I ran it through the machine, the long lines of stitching wavering at times, my arms wrestling and tired by the end.
I pieced the binding and watched some new favorite shows as I hand sewed the back. And then at last I laid it on their bed and waiting for some window light to capture the end result.
But the best part was the way my boys received it. Aware that it was made for them, looking at the littlest detail because there are wheels and stop lights involved. Hiding and peeking and jumping and pulling on it until I was laughing harder than they.
I asked the wife of my patient about the quilt. It was a gift to them 37 years ago. Someone pieced and stitched it together for them and it followed them through their long lives, cherished and as beautiful as the day it was given.
That is why I make things. To find a way to express a moment made timeless, to place love, to give it a feel and a location. To remember that we are designed to create, that it fills more than just the maker.
And now that I have unlocked this newest way to make, somewhat secure int he knowledge that I can actually quilt a queen size on my little cheap machine, well, it feels like the sky is the limit.
Now, back to those 400 or so 3.5 inch squares I have been trying to transform.
Happy making, friends, however it is that you do so in your days.