Monday, April 18, 2016

Does Quilting Matter

Today my guest blogger is Beth Strand of Words and Stitches.  I met Beth through the wonder world of blogging.  She's been a fellow blog hop hostess with me on numerous blog hops.  She always has a ... well... way with words and does beautiful stitching too.  

Beth writes:

I make quilts for a lot of different reasons.  I make them for people I love, for people having babies, for organ donors and for children in crisis.  I make them for fun, for the pure joy of them,  and sometimes, I sometimes make them to push my skills as a quilter.  I make them from scraps, from planned and purchased fabric, or from my extensive (and well-loved) stash.  I start every one with the intent to finish but, in all honesty, I’m probably guilty of starting two or three for every one I finish.  

I’m a tornado kind of quilter…always picking something up in a storm of creative thinking and putting it down somewhere else to pick up something else…and my sewing room looks like a tornado hit it!

And, every once in a while, I wonder if my little quilts make a difference?  After all, I’m not curing cancer here…I’m cutting up fabric and sewing it back together.  Some people don’t even see the point. 
And then I see a post on my facebook page from one of my dearest friends, who is currently taking a writing class. 
For you...tonight a writing exercise. Fast questions, quick answers written, onto another fast changed topic.
Question: What is the best surprise gift I never expected? I thought half my time away, wrote quick, and went back to finish it.
Answer: The surprise gift I never expected was a made with love quilt by my "sister," Beth. She brought it to me the day before my 14 hour total pancreatectomy surgery. I felt loved, it was a comfort that no other patient had, and they let it into the operating room with me, where it stayed in the corner witnessing what Beth could not. My life being saved. That quilt is my prized possession. I sleep with it each night. It is now over ten years old, and worn down from its original beauty, but not to me. It tucks me in each night with a hug, a love that crossed familial boundaries, and joined my heart with Beth's, we are sisters. Bright, colorful, worn, ragged, comforting, special and a rare gift of friendship to family!
I love you! I love my quilt, I am proud to call you sister.”

This little post reminded me of the incredible alchemy and magic of quilting.  We take what is whole, turn it into pieces and remodel it into a new and amazing wholeness filled with a magical combination of thread, batting, inspiration and love.  Now, I have to say that the quilt in question was not a show stopper.  It was a combination of large squares and four-patches made from the flannel scraps of years of making pj’s for my girls at Christmas.  It was made in a hurry and quilted with an all-over large stipple.  But it was made with love and infused with hope.  

You see, what Christie didn’t say was that the odds were not in her favor.  Her survival of the initial surgery and the 10 extra years we’ve been blessed with so far are nothing short of a miracle.  That, in the middle of all that, a very utilitarian quilt could have created such a cherished memory is an honor.

So, yes, sometimes in the midst of two jobs, deadlines, a busy teenager, a household of spoiled cats and a husband, I don’t get time to quilt all I want.  Sometimes, I wonder if what I do makes a difference. Then I am reminded that we are not just making objects that warm bodies and beautify walls…we are making memories that can be cherished.  That quilting matters, of course it matters and that is all it takes to lift my spirits and make me head to my sewing room to start something new!


Visit Beth at her blog Words and Stitches.  Thank you Beth for filling in the gap while I'm away.


  1. A sweet post with a happy ending is always enjoyed. The reminder that sometimes we can make a difference was appreciated.

  2. What an amazing story!!! It shows us the real reason we quilt and the finished quilt speaks the volumes that we cannot express in words.

  3. A motivational story and inspiration for all of us!


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