One of my hidden talents is designing and sewing lap sized quilts. They will never win awards or appear on the front page of a magazine. Instead, they keep my family members warm.
Intrigued by beautiful quilts I’d seen in magazines and online, I decided years ago to give it a try. I took a few classes and made some simple quilts. For those of you who aren’t quilters, making seams match and points pointy is important in many quilt designs. Since that’s a real challenge for me, I decided to create my own designs.
The most important quilt I even designed was for my brother-in-law, John, after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 brain cancer. He asked me to make him a quilt and it needed to be a large one since he was 6’9″ tall. John was very patriotic so I decided on a stars and stripes design in red, white and blue.
I purchased many fabrics in all shades of red, white and blue and roughly pieced it on a freezer paper pattern. There were a lot of curves and hundreds of pieces. Time was of the essence so I worked on it every available moment. It wasn’t perfectly even. None of the sides measured the same, but it was beautiful and he loved it. It was on his lap as he attended his son’s wedding in the backyard of his house; it kept him warm as he lay in the hospital bed in the living room; it followed him to hospice and warmed him as he took his last breath; and finally, it was buried with him.
God was in the details. I tried to make a similar quilt several times over the years and I can never get it to work. I believe God helped me through a process I’d never tried before to make a quilt that would show my love for John and would comfort him and my sister throughout the progression of his illness. I’ll never make a more beautiful quilt and I’m okay with that.
There’s something comforting about working with beautiful fabrics and weaving them together in amazing designs. While I haven’t quilted much over the last few years, the stacks of fabric and my sewing machine are waiting when I’m ready to return.
2/22/14 EDIT: I finally found a picture of John’s quilt. It was about 5′ x 7′, the biggest quilt I’ve ever made.