Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Aunt Alice's Quilt

Our high school library was on the third floor of the building with large windows that the sunlight would come through - I loved the place - I found a book of short stories there by Dorothy Canfield Fisher and there was one story, The Bed Quilt, that I never forgot. It is the story of triumph - an elderly unmarried family member, Aunt Mehetabel, and the quilt she creates. I love this story and it really began my love of quilts - and the stories they could tell if they could talk.

In Texas I was even in a quilt group - but only made squares - not a whole quilt - but when I would sit in the living room working on one there would be such a sense of peacefulness in doing the handstitching - my husband even commented about how he loved to watch me working on a square. I even went to the huge quilt show in Houston - and got a migraine afterwards from staring at everything!

We moved back to Long Island and once again I was near family. My Aunt Alice, who could sew so fantastically that she used Vogue patterns and I believe made a sports jacket for her husband - was talking about making a quilt - and I remember telling her that she would be the last person to need a lesson - all she had to do was start! She did start - and then one day she and Uncle Artie showed up at my home in Northport with a large shopping bag and gave it to me and I reached in and began to bring out the most beautiful hand stitched quilt. I was so overwhelmed I don't even remember what I said or did - it was so emotional for me. The patterns she used for the squares are Log Cabin, Schoolhouse and Hearts - perfect - and they are all in wonderful warm pastels with such great color combinations - I really didn't want to write about it without a photo - but I didn't want to wait. She made handstitched quilts (Queen size) for all her nieces and daughters-in-law. What a blessing. If you hold my quilt up to the window it looks like a stain glass window!

It is hard for me to write about The Quilt - because the tears come to my eyes when I think of the love that you feel when you pull the quilt around you and you just feel the love and care that went into its creation. During one particular rough time in our lives I gave the quilt to Kik so she could take it to where she was staying and it would be safe - I remember the look in her eyes as she carried it - she knew how precious it was. Whenever someone wasn't feeling well they would want the quilt. The quilt is truly imbued with a love that is so tangible all you have to do is wrap yourself up in it. The Louvre has the Mona Lisa - we have The Quilt - our treasure.


Kuckie said...

I absolutely love quilts! And what a blessing for you to have yours!

I have always wanted to learn how, and it is still one of my goals. No time for it just now, but soon. Once the kiddos are a little bigger and more self-sufficient!!!

Please post a picture, Claire!

Heidi said...

What a precious thing to have! Family heirlooms are treasures of the heart arnt they! Thanks for coming to my blog I love to have peole stop over!!! Hope to see you again!

The Mrs. said...

That is such a beautiful story!!!

Train Wreck said...

Oh I too love quilts. I hate to see them in second hand stores, because you know that they have a story to tell, and kept someone warm. What a wonderful post. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, have a safe and Happy New Year.

kari and kijsa said...

Love this!
Here's to a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
kari & kijsa

Sarah Martin said...

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