I have been working on a couple of quilts for a long time.... Let me clarify that. I started 2 quilts quite a while ago. But life got busy and my hands got stiff and swelly and it was just difficult to proceed at a very fast rate.
The first quilt I started before the May wedding, but soon figured out that I wasn't progressing at a rate to finish for the wedding and hey, when it's hot outside, who worries about a winter quilt? So it was bagged, labeled and put into a basket. It came out in fits and spurts to be worked on from time to time. Most recently, I decided if I could work on one row of instruction, or one little part a couple of times a week, the end would come. And my hands started to co-operate a bit more, so as I sit here typing, the quilt top is finished. Until I was at least halfway through, I vowed never to try this again. Now it is done and I love it! Isn't that funny... I have actually made several quilts with colors or pattern chosen by the recipient and thought, wow, I'm not really lovin' this. And then when it's done, it's almost hard to part with. I've hopes that people that receive my quilts, are at least a bit in love with them. Early in my knitting adventure, my husband lovingly said "Don't knit anything for me" and I really haven't. He doesn't get the who sentimental bond with homemade things that I do. A handknit, a handsewn (especially quilt), a piece of pottery that was created by my hand... pretty much, I put some of my heart and soul into them. We have a ministry that our church is involved in that makes prayer quilts and prayer shawls. Quilts are made by individuals or collectively by the group a few times a year and layered and string ties are sewn through out the top, and the top is stored in a special cupboard. When there is a need, a request is made and the quilt comes out and it's laid on a table at church, and the people coming in and going out are asked to tie a knot and say a prayer for the person in need. Sickness, death, issues, no judgement is made. Quilts have come back when return hospital visits are needed, to have more knots and more prayers. It really is a great ministry, as is the prayer shawls that are given out.
I like to think that my quilts are a bit of prayer quilts all their own. I think quite a bit about the people I make them for. And I pretty much always know who I am making a quilt for.
And so, as I work on this quilt for my son and new daughter-in-law, I've thought a lot about them. About the years that they have already been together...about the trips and the adventures that they have had traveling. About the life ahead of them, at this young age. Of the joys and hardships to come, and the love that will get them through that. And I sew, and I pray. And I'm happy to gift it.
But I'm not sure I should post a picture here yet. It IS a gift, although neither reads this...really, no one reads this...and that's partly because I have slacked on posting... but yesterday I treated myself to a long arm quilting class, and tomorrow I will take this quilt, and the cool pack that I pieced, and load it onto the long arm, and quilt the daylights out of it...yeah, it's going to be my guinea pig quilt... and then I'll put a binding on it and maybe it will even make it under the tree. So I should probably wait for a picture of the totally completed end product.. probably the July wedding kids quilt won't be done enough to be there....but the wooden gift for #3 will be there, too. I like to make my gifts and I like them to be practical. Hoping the feeling is mutual.
11 hours ago