Thursday, April 06, 2006

In Praise of Poorly Made Quilts

I'm requilting the Double Wedding Ring quilt my grandmother Big Mama gave me when I married 42 years ago.

It would not win a prize at the lowliest of county fairs, much less the big quilt shows they have now.

Mama's quilt is made from scraps, some are from feed sacks, some are flannel, some from cotton dress fabrics. The solid inside pieces are made from muslin, what we called domestic. She just used what she had. The little spoke pieces on the rings are meant to all be the same size, but they vary. She always used a red piece for the center spoke, but because the four pieces on each side aren't always the same, that red piece is visibly not in the center.

But I love this quilt above all others. I see my competent, strong, loving, and intelligent grandmother in each piece.

Today we have enough money to buy fabrics especially to use on quilts. We can match our colors. We can stray far from the need for bed covers, because blankets at WalMart are cheap.

Therefore, we now have the art quilt. They range from lovely to spectacular. Some are like impressionist watercolors; some are landscapes. None are ever meant to lie on a bed.

But Mama's quilts, and my quilts, too, are meant for the bed. They are utilitarian quilts, but like women throughout history, we try to brighten up our living space. To make something useful also be pretty.

These quilts are not quilted 10 stitches to the inch. The corners don't match very often but from our scraps and our imaginations we make something beautiful for our homes.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?