Today I had the privilege to visit with a group of 5 & 6 year olds at Cedar Hall Elementary School. Jessica McCutchan, who is their teacher, invited me to share with them one of my passions that begins with the letter Q…quilting.
What a bright and well behaved group of children they are. They sat and listed to me as I explained why I enjoy quilting, were very careful with the items I passed around and asked some very good questions about quilting. I loved the way they looked at me and at the quilts with utter amazement…
When I came home and was reflecting on my day, I thought about how my love of quilting came to be.
I was taught to sew by my mother when I was in grade school. My mother would sew clothes for people when I was young and would make matching ‘mother/daughter’ dresses for us. She was a talented seamstress and even made dresses for weddings. I never became much of a seamstress, though I can cover the basics. But when she bought me the material for a quilt, that was the start of a life long hobby.
My first quilt was a flower garden quilt. I began the quilt in grade school and finished it years later after Jim and I were married. Jim’s granny was a quilter and made the most beautiful quilts I’d ever seen. She even had one quilt that was displayed in the World’s Fair in Chicago. Watching her quilt reminded me of the quilt I never finished and inspired me to get it out and do so.
I have made several quilts since then and am currently working on one for my oldest son and his wife. The thing I like about quilting is that is forces you to slow down. You cannot quilt in a hurry or it shows. I like that quilting can be a social event, like the fine quilts that are made by the ladies at our church. I like that I can sit and quilt and see that I am accomplishing something with each stitch that I make.
I also like the stories that quilts can tell. One of the quilts I shared with the children is one that I made for Craig when he was 6 or 7 years old. He loved animals and wanted a quilt that had cats and dogs on it. So I cut out a calico cat and a brown/black and white dog and sewed them onto his quilt, along with the words ‘DOG’ and ‘CAT’. I noticed how tattered the quilt had become and it made me smile. Craig would probably still be using it if it wasn’t falling apart. But…that’s how you can tell a quilt is loved. Nothing makes me happier than to see a well worn quilt.
Quilting is one of the things I missed most when my illness hit last year…and it was one of the first things I was able to in little bits when my eyesight improved. It is amazing to me that God can use anything, even quilting, to remind me that he is working in my life.
Thank you Ms. McCutchan and your wonderful class for letting me come and share with you today. Thank you for letting me look through your eyes and remember why I love quilting so much in the first place. It was a joy to be with you!