Those who are quilters or have been around quilters know that no one would ever be able to really pay the price that a quilt is worth, especially if it is stitched by hand.
Quilting takes lots of time and much energy, and then to top that off, quilts often have stories attached to them, for instance, the material may be clothing that was worn by a loved one, the quilt was made by someone special, or maybe the quilt was even used in connection with the “Underground railroad” as a way to communicate. Some quilts are priceless because of the story that goes along with them.
My mother was a quilter. She had callouses on her thumb and middle finger of her right hand, worn by the needle from quilting so much. She had a favorite thimble she wore on her middle finger on her right hand. She loved to quilt and also loved the finished product. It relaxed her. Of course, since she loved it, she wanted to introduce her daughters to it. I can quilt, and know how to do it right but, alas it is just not my thing.
I do have a love for a beautiful quilt though.
Below are the stories of three quilts from my house;
The first quilt that I would like to share with you, is the one my mother used to teach me to quilt. That alone is enough to make it special, but it is also important to me for several more reasons. The top was made by my grandmother, Irene Rosadena McBride – Wilson (1908 -1979), when she was about 13 years old. It is made of cotton and is in the design of airplanes on an emerald green back. My mother gave the top to me and promised to teach me to quilt. If you examine this quilt, it’s very plain who quilted where. My mother who weaved that material six times onto the needle before pulling it through and me barely getting four stitches on the needle before pulling it through. :) This quilt is really showing wear due to some of the pieces of material wearing thin quickly as well as the fact that the pieces were well worn before the quilt was ever finished. It may look ragged, but I love it.
Then there is the quilt of my teens; this quilt took on many stories before its completion. When I reached my teen years I would spend a lot of time with my Aunt Dot. We wrote often, and I would spend weekends with her in South Texas in the Big Thicket. We decided we would both do a quilt of the 50 states. We would embroider the blocks and then piece it together. For years we would account what states we had embroidered. Time passed and Aunt Dot completed her blocks. I went overseas on missions and put the squares I had completed into a donation box.
My Aunt became sick and her brothers and sisters went to South Texas to visit her. While my mother was there, my Aunt gave her the quilt, as well as some lilac material to use for backing, and asked her to finish it. My mother began to quilt it, and before it was finished my Aunt Dot passed away. The last square on the Lilac quilt is Texas. I was born in Texas and my Aunt Dot lived in Texas most of her life. For my 45th birthday my mother gave me the completed quilt. I’m crying as I write this because God is so good to me. He brought the quilt to me.
In my eyes, this is a priceless quilt.
Last, is my inherited quilt; this quilt is blue with ducks. I loved this quilt before it ever came out of the quilting frames. Momma had traced around the ducks in the squares she had bought and was stitching the outline in the blue squares that had no ducks. The back of this quilt is almost prettier than the front. She quilted the part of the block outside the outline in a triangle design. When my mother passed, I inherited this quilt, with much begging, (that’s another story). :)
My mother had created a design of her own for quilting, most of her quilts are quilted in a rainbow design, visible on the 50 states quilt above. She made quilts for all five of her children and her twelve grandchildren and then made arrangements to give them as a graduation gift when they graduated from high school.
So you may wonder why a quilt can cost so much.
Unless you know a quilter or are a quilter you may not realize
that a LOT of love, time, and stories goes into those quilts…
but when a quilter buys a quilt…
they can feel that love.