This is a long story. Bear with me.
My mother is making a hexagon quilt.
She doesn’t have a large stockpile of fabric from which to make said quilt.
I do. I have lots of fabric.
So a few times a month, she visits me and takes home some of my fabric to add to her quilt. Sometimes we spend a while picking the fabric that is just right, which means I’m rifling through bins of fabrics that I’ve long forgotten about.
That’s what I did today. She decided perhaps she needed a dusky pink colour, and many moons ago I sorted all my fabrics into colours – and I had a whole box of dusky pink because I was going to make myself a quilt from it. That quilt never happened, by the way.
So, whilst rifling, I found this:
That is the last little remnant piece of one of my favourite fabrics of all time. It is so favourite, that I made a bed quilt from it.
Originally this quilt was going to be a Carolina Lily block, but I made one up and it looked revolting so I committed to making five thousand (seemed like it) more individual lily blocks so I could set them back to back. They are all paper pieced, and it was a fairly mammoth task.
Never one to rest on my laurels, I then decided to hand quilt the thing and it took me twelve solid months at night after work to quilt it.
But I love it. I adore it. They will be wrapping it around my cold little body when they stick me in the ground, and they’ll have to pry it from my dead fingers if they want it back.
I’ve slept under that quilt for the best part of fifteen years. It’s been washed so much it’s soft, and it’s worn thin in places and it has holes in it.
But here is the problem. You know when you look at something day after day, year after year, you forget what it originally began life like. When I found that remnant of fabric, I remembered how this quilt began its life.
Oh. My. Gosh.
I knew it had faded, but what I didn’t realise was just how much it had faded. Every piece of that quilt is a faded remnant of what it was once. The pink is so washed out in places it’s almost beige.
And so I’ve decided the time has come to make a new quilt for my bed. This one will be lovingly laundered (again), I will label it (alas, most of my quilts are yet to be labelled) and I will lovingly and gently pack it away for some future generation to look at.
In that fifteen years I’ve lost my father, my two grandmothers, a much loved dog who would sit on the edge of the quilt while I hand-quilted it and a cat who would sit on my feet at the same time. I’ve changed a million nappies on that bed, my girls have been wrapped up in it when they are sick. A lot has happened in that fifteen years.
I’ll never, ever part with it.