23 January 2022

The Warmth Of A Quilt

The summer before I went to college, my mother and I made a patchwork quilt for my dorm room. It wasn’t fancy, just a log cabin pattern made of 2” x 6” strips made into 6” blocks. And it wasn’t actually quilted - it was tied through to the blue and white gingham backing with yarn at the intersections of the blocks. On one of the corner blocks, I embroidered my initials and the year.

That quilt cheerfully lived on my dorm bed for four years, but once I graduated, it got stored away at my mother’s house.

Years later, after my daughter moved from a crib to a bed, I pulled the quilt out of storage. It looked perfect in her room. But over time, small person shenanigans, coupled with the age of the quilt, meant that the fabric was springing holes at the drop of a hat. Periodically, I’d haul it off the bed and appliqué new patches in place - patching the patchwork - but eventually I put it away and bought a down comforter for her bed.

This past September, she went off to college - to my alma mater, as it happens. Her dorm room is on a corner, and her bed is hard up against the window, and it’s a little chilly. She told me she thought she needed another blanket - and the quilt popped into my head.

So we pulled it out, and carefully catalogued the fragile spots, and I taught her how to cut the strips, turn and iron the edges, wrestle the quilt into position in the sewing machine, and patch patch patch.

We rebound the edges, and she embroidered a strip with her initials and 2022. 

The quilt went back to school with her yesterday.

It is crudely made, as far as quilts go, but it is full of love - my mother's, mine, and now my daughter's. And I hope it keeps her warm for years to come.