Beginnings

Mike and I are celebrating our twenty-seventh wedding anniversary. THAT’S OVER A QUARTER OF A CENTURY!

 

Aw, they're so cute and young.

Aw, they’re so cute and young.

OK, you can laugh at this next picture. I made a poor choice of tuxedos.

 

Does this tux make me look like I sell ice cream? Hope they don't make us serve it at the reception.

Does this tux make me look like I sell ice cream? Hope they don’t make us serve it at the reception.

My color choices for the wedding colors could have been better, too.

Can you believe she made us sew our own dresses? What do we do with them now?

Can you believe she made us sew our own dresses? What do we do with them now?

Where the inspiration to make quilts started.

Jennifer, my maid-of-honor whom I’ve known since kindergarten, made her first quilt for our wedding gift. I can’t tell you how moved I was by this. She had incorporated material from her maid-of-honor dress and my wedding dress. Her grandmother helped her with the hand-pieced quilt, and I know Jennifer treasured that time with her grandmother.

Jennifer's quilt to us

Jennifer’s quilt to us

Two years later, Mike’s grandmother, who was in her eighties, made a quilt for us that is entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted. I never knew she quilted all the while Mike and I were dating plus the first two years of marriage.

Grandma Wolff's quilt to us.

Grandma Wolff’s quilt to us.

My thought was that someday I was going to make at least one quilt in my life.

While I was pregnant with our second baby Laura, Chris needed to move out of the crib and into a bed. That was a perfect time to make a quilt for his new bed. I was hooked. Many more quilts came after that. Most of them I gave away as gifts, and some I used to decorate our home.

How quilts are special.

  • Women, mostly, made quilts to keep their families warm at night. They used scraps from clothes that had worn out. It was an unintentional record of the types of dyes and motifs used in fabrics. Judging by some of the intricate patterns, quilt making was a creative outlet.
  • Quilts record political and religious thoughts.
  • People have made quilts to record a current event and events in personal lives.
  • Quilts are works of art whether they hang on a wall or cover a bed.

Making a quilt gives the maker a lot of time to reflect on the person or occasion.

The son of Mike’s cousin was killed in a car accident at age eighteen. His mother asked me to make a quilt in his favorite color with his favorite T-shirts. I took the liberty of adding an applique portrait of her son. Many tears were shed while making it; not only did I agonize over getting the portrait right, but I couldn’t imagine losing a child.

Casey's quilt, 2001

Casey’s quilt, 2001

On a happier occasion, the local Christian school asked me to make a quilt. The school had out-grown two buildings  occupied since the 1950s. To remember the old location, each student and teacher drew on a square of muslin something memorable about the school. I then put it all together with the sashing and pieced border. Hmm, wonder if it’s still hanging in their hall.

Aw, who are those cute kiddos. Newton Christian School quilt, 2001

Aw, who are those cute kiddos?
Newton Christian School quilt, 2001

What inspired you to start quilting?

 

Aw, what happened? They were so cute and young.

Aw, what happened? They were so cute and young.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Beginnings

  1. Joe and I were married in 1988 also! The things that stick out most in our pictures is the big, 80’s hair!

    Why Quilts Matter – History, Art and Politics is a favorite website of mine. I bought the DVD (and one for my town library) long before I got involved with them. I’m so happy you linked to the site – there are so many images (for the Pinterest crowd) but also if you need some inspiration, some gorgeous eye candy, or just want to learn more about quilts. I’ve been quilting for 20 years and I love it as much as I did when I started. Your quilts are beautiful – and the one from your grandmother is priceless!

    Like

    • Thanks, Jo! Love it when both spouses have the same name (even though from your blog I see that it’s Joan).

      I watched Why Quilts Matter on PBS, but it would be nice to own the DVD.

      Thanks for being here.

      Like

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