I am a quilter and a mother.
My grandmother made quilts for her grandchildren. For a very long time, I was second-to-youngest, with my sister being youngest. I have no idea what my cousin’s quilts look like. Mine? It’s a product of the early 80s and a grandmother who’d already made about a dozen full sized quilts by hand.
It’s velour. Polyester velour. In Turquoise, Fuscia, and White. 6″ squares. Tied with pink yarn. And in the middle are 6 embroidered blocks with kittens, birds, and flowers. Twin sized.
You know what? I love that quilt. (Let it be here noted that my mother appreciated things that were both new and store-bought based on her upbringing.) I took it to college with me, much to my mother’s dismay. Once a year I would lay it out on the floor and re-tie all the little yarn stubbies. I washed it, and put it in the dryer.
My daughter has grown up the daughter of a quilter. I quilted before she arrived, and I’m betting I’ll be quilting after she moves out. Now we’re somewhere in the first third of that adventure. She has always known that there are 3 types of quilts – (1) those that you can do just about anything with, (2) those that you cannot play with under any circumstances, and (3) those that you must consult before dragging around.
My grandmother’s quilt was, to her, squarely in category 2. About a year ago, she needed an extra quilt on her bed. The first bed-sized quilt in the pile-o-quilts was the quilt my grandma made me. I put it on her bed for the night. She told me it was “too special” for sleeping with! Bless her little heart! I assured her it would be fine for a night.
15 months later, she’s adopted the quilt as her own and it’s finally showing it’s age. The ‘velour’ is rubbing off whatever substrate it was sprayed onto for the binding. The embroideries are starting to come apart. And I want my grandma’s quilt to last another decade!
We’ve come to an agreement. The only way that I can get MY quilt back is to make HER one of her very own. This child is not deprived. She sleeps under a quilt every night. And has a backup. Not to mention the play quilts, and doll quilts, and her very own fabric stash.
And it has to be as close to my quilt as possible. So, now that summer is coming (and I’m in a house with no a/c) I’ll be making a twin-sized minkee quilt, complete with minkee backing. It must also have 6 embroidered sqaures. And be tied with pink yarn. (I’ve never tied a quilt in my life!)
So, I ask myself, is it love for my daughter? Or my quilt?