Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blanket of Memories

These days most quilts are generic, mass produced and complement the decorating scheme quite nicely. The art of quilting is fading as a hobby and one writer reflects in a wonderful personal essay why she carries on with the practice of her mother.

One reason is that the quilt can become a blanket of memories. Her mother kept all the left over fabric she ever used in sewing and would use them in a quilt when the time came. "That piece of yellow gingham was from a butterfuly shirt my mother made me...And that scrap- pale beige with tiny red rose buds and tinier green stems. It was from a dress I once loved..."

Now the writer keeps the fabrics from old clothes in the closet. "There was the T-shirt my husband bought at his first Metallica concert, a large selection of high school sports shirts from the early nineties, debating tournament T-shirts, and my favourite, a Hostess Munchies T-shirt that I won from a lucky bag of chips when I was 14...."

"Many people write memoirs as a way of reflecting on the chapters of their lives, but quilting is another way to do this. The pieces of a special quilt are like pages of a journal. The stories lie together, patterned and soft, waiting to be pulled up over a set of shoulders and read."

Hayley Linfield in The Globe and Mail