Today, I’m having my first ever guest blogger. I am pleased to introduce Ms. Nita Beshear. Nita is a quilter and an author from southeast Oklahoma and has had a life-long love of quilts. She is currently on a book tour and has kindly requested that I host her Montana junket. After reading her book, DEVOTED TO QUILTING, an inspirational collection of quilt stories, I happily complied. In her book, Nita shares her belief that God uses the making of quilts to teach one, or more, of his lessons and other times, it's the quilt, itself, that is the teacher. So, without further adieu ...
Saving the Memories
Many of us have quilts from our childhood, quilts that we love and cherish. What happens when the quilts of our youth (or our children’s’) begin to show their years? Sometimes a “facelift” (repairing the quilt) is not an option? How do we save the memories held within the threads of our favorite quilts?
When there isn’t much left of the quilt we love and loved, and are hesitant to throw it out. There are a couple of other options.
I enjoy visiting with people about the quilts in their lives and the stories behind them. They often share how they have, or are planning to preserve the love.
One woman cut the quilt apart and made pillows for her children. She got the idea seeing quilt stuffed animals. She didn’t have enough good parts of the quilt to make enough stuffed animals, so she made pillows. Pillows of love her children can still clutch when they are sad or ill and need the comfort the quilt offered in the past.
Another woman was planning to cut her quilt and place the good sections in a shadow box. She planned to include pictures of her children using the quilt. Her plan was to make a shadow box for each child and include a picture of that child using the quilt, as well as photos with all the children using the quilt.
While, to many, it may seem sacrilegious to cut a quilt apart, to others it’s the only way to salvage a part of their past. They’ve also found a way of “cutting the baby” in half and sharing it will their children or siblings.
Sharing the love is one of the functions of quilts, after all, the original quilt was made to share and show love.
Cutting and stitching the quilt into other items is also another way of following in our grandmothers’ footsteps. They didn’t throw something usable away, they found a way to recycle and reuse it.
Still, no matter how much sense it might make, or how practical it may seem, some simply can’t take scissors to a quilt. There is another option I’ve heard recently, sandwiching the quilt.
One woman explained that she found fabrics in the same colors as the original quilt, sometimes not an exact match, but close. Then, using the same pattern, she stitched another quilt top, one that matched the first one. Next, she used the well-loved quilt as the inner layer. She now has her grandmother’s quilt safely stored away, yet continuing to be used and loved, sandwiched inside another quilt.
When someone mentioned she can no longer see her grandmother’s quilt the woman replied, she wouldn’t have been able to see the quilt anyway, it was practically in shreds. She can now continue to use, and be comforted, by her grandmother’s quilt of love without worry.
How do you salvage the “unsalvageable”? What is the story of your favorite quilt? Please share them with Nita as she is in the works on a second book and would love to include your story. Also, be sure to visit the other blogs she will be visiting this week, as well as Nita’s blog, http://www.devotedtoquilting.wordpress.com/. Here is the blog list:
Susan’s Quilts - http://susansquilts.blogspot.com/
Dilly Dally Days- http://dilly-dallydays.blogspot.com/
Tall House Quilts - http://tallhousequilts.blogspot.com/
I hope you enjoyed reading what my new friend, Nita! And thank you for letting me bring this change of pace to my blog.
As always, quiltastic day to you!