Quilts have been with us for centuries. Yes they did make quilts in Europe. They tended to make whole cloth quilts where the cloth was not pieced but the design was in the quilting. They did make whole cloth quilts in the infancy of the United States, but they also pieced quilts from various fabrics and old clothing to get a double use from the cloth.
Small communities would band together and work to put up a house or barn for newlyweds and the ladies would likewise gather a quilting bee to provide a quilt for the couple.
The quilt symbolized the blessing and love of the community as well as continuing warmth in the couple’s new life.
As these four quilts were requested by the parents of four adult children, I thought about what the wife repeatedly mentioned to me. “My mother always wanted the kids to have quilts.”
Why would that be important? For the same reason it was important to my grandmother. When the first four of her granddaughters married within a few years of each other, she made a dutch doll quilt for each of them. It was important to her that each married couple have a quilt.
I don’t know if she made quilts for my mom and dad and for my aunt and uncle when they married, but I do know that everyone had quilts. My grandmother had a wedding ring quilt hand-made when she married and her mother before her had a quilt as well. Quilts were cherished emblems of love of others towards the new couple. They represented warmth, love and care given in a special package.
As I made these four quilts, I realized another fact. People who make a quilt for someone specific think of that person. They ask God to bless the recipients, to give them warmth and comfort. It doesn’t matter who it is for, you want the quilt to be comforting and to be a symbol of your personal work – time spent meditatively over that person or persons who will use the quilt in the future. It also works with quilts when you don’t know who will use it. You pray for someone to see it and just love it. And you hope that the work of your hands, the planning and constructing will bless the recipient for many years of warmth and comfort. Whether the recipient prays to the Universe or to God himself, they well receive blessings when they have something made in this manner. You just cannot pick this up at Walmart for $29.95.