I woke up one morning about a week ago with an idea that I couldn't get out of my head. You know what I do when that happens? Yes, I write. I share. I compose my thoughts and get them out there with the desire to connect with like minds and encourage my readers. Please think about this with me for a minute...have you ever thought about the possibility that when you make a quilt, it is so distinctive and unique that it is like no other quilt in the world?
Even if you have sewn quilts from patterns that were written by another designer, or if you participate in a quilt-a-long where everyone uses the same design and identical fabric, your work will be unique. Why? I've shared three brief thoughts below on why I believe this to be true.
1. Because there is no one else like you: in the whole wide world...you are an individual with gifts, talents, and abilities like no one else! A quilt has its own personality, similar to the people who make them. Your particular circumstances, level of experience, and depth of enthusiasm, all these transpire into your quilt being a unique work of "heart."
2. Your season in life: We are all traveling various paths in this journey of life. Some of you began quilting on your grandmother's knee; some, like me, learned the art of quilting later in life from someone other than a family member. All our quilts will have different outcomes as we work with our hands and heart. Whether you are happy or sad, angry or in grief...those emotions make their way into every stitch you sew.
3. Life is in constant transition: we've made quilts when our children were small, when they've gone to college, joined the military, or started their own home. We've sewn quilts to celebrate a new baby, a wedding or a retirement. We've also made quilts in times of grief or for those who are grieving. Quilts have been sewn in hard times as well as times of peace and plenty. You, like me, may have quietly sat by the bedside of a critically ill family member or friend with a needle and thread...working to pass the hours and calm our fears.
A quilt never looks like "any old blanket" when you understand what kind of personal struggles the quilter has been through, or until you get a glimpse of what a quilt represents to the one who either does the creating or the receiving.
My point is that at the heart of it, no two quilts are alike no matter how similar they appear; whether, by hand or machine, no two quilts are ever the same. Your quilt is like no other! You are making a treasure, a piece of history.
A sweet lady in our quilt group recently reminded us that there are no perfect quilts just like there are no perfect people. We all have flaws and imperfections, but that's OK because that helps us understand the flaws and shortcomings of others.
In closing, if you have been blessed with quilts passed down through family or friends, you have a gift like nothing else in the world. I encourage you to do some digging and find out who made the quilt and what circumstances or events surrounded its story. My mother has memories as a little girl playing underneath a quilt frame that was hung from the ceiling while my grandmother, along with other women, sat around the frame and hand-quilted every stitch. Oh, how I would love to get my hands on that quilt! Every quilt has a story, and there's a story behind every quilt because there is a heart behind every quilt. If you are interested in a brief summary of my research on the history of quilting, then I invite you to read my new series Scraps of Quilt History. Click here for the link.
I would love to hear your quilt story; I'm sure it is lovely...just like you!