Tuesday 27 February 2007

Snow and Quilts

After-tobogganing mess in the kitchen. Maybe crunch an apple or two. And then...

Blankets are what home is. There should always be enough blankets to go around. They should be soft, worn, clean, smell nice. They should be the right size to go over toes, around shoulders, to make tents to hide in. They should be quiet, not rustley, and the right thickness to layer as needed. They can be many colours, one colour, and are best if they do not match the decor of the house. If they are some odd colour from the past, even better. Blankets are not necessarily for matching (that's just an added nice quality if they do), they are for...well,..comforting.

Although I call them blankets, the two above are really quilts. One inherited and one (the pink one) made for me by my Grandma when I was a little girl. The one one our bed right now was a wedding present from my Great-Aunt. All are handmade. The style is not pieced - it is beautifully hand-stitched. And there is ritual to quilts. When picking out fabrics for someone to quilt for you, you pick out a cotton flannel and a cotton pattern (it was nearly heresy when I asked for two small patterns on our wedding quilt). I remember my Grandma's quilting frame in her basement, and her talking about quilting with the rest on the women in her church. Being of a Mennonite background, quilting is very much part of my heritage. Even though I'm no longer involved in the church, the culture is still part of who I am, and I keep tabs of what's going on, like the annual relief sales where they auction off gorgeous quilts.

Even though I cherish my quilts and my family tradition, it was, of course, Denyse Schmidt who got me excited about quilting again. I remember an article about her in Martha Stewart way back (sorry I forget which issue, although I probably have it around here somewhere) and I thought "WOW! you can do that with quilts?" It was all new to me. That led to a trip to the library, where I took out (and subsequently purchased because it's that good) "Make Your Own Contemporary Quilts". Then I started sketching (note to self: add "try to make your first quilt" to list of WIFP (Works in Future Progress)). It's all been part of my unravelling/ravelling creative journey...and then I stumbled upon craft blogland and Dioramarama, she of the quilt and fabric brilliance.

The two above however, are in a sorry state. The binding is coming apart, the batting is falling out, and I'd like to fix them. It's a good place to start, no? Unfortunately, I think if I try to fix them reverently, they'll just end up looking mangled, so I'm going to try to be a little bit more creative than that.

To the sewing machine!

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