My love for quilts began at a farm house in southern Illinois. It belonged to my aunt and uncle. My uncle was a farmer and coal miner and so heating his home with a coal burning stove was practical and economical. Curtains hung in the bedroom doorways to allow the heat to pass through above the curtain rod. But one was never cold in bed because one was lying under a stack of homemade quilts. The weight of the quilts not only provided warmth but also a feeling of safety and security.
In this same home my aunt often had a quilt in process on a large wooden frame. I loved watching her quilt by hand as we visited. I am so thankful for the quilting lessons and the time she gave to me. If I quilted every day for the rest of my life I could not catch up to her expertise.
I love quilts. I love the artistry and the talent involved in their creation. I have at least one quilt in almost every room of my house. I have them in all sizes. They are on the beds, on the walls, as a table runner, a throw pillow, curtains, and an end table doily. Some I have made and others were given to me. Some are family heirlooms. Some were purchased used and others purchased new. I like to think I am tasteful and not over-bearing with my quilts. I hope my home does not appear to be decorated by a hundred year old lady with a dozen cats and no visitors.
Many children have benefitted from experiences similar to mine at the farm house. The use of a weighted blanket can give safety and security. The gentle heaviness is somehow comforting to all, but especially to children with some special needs such as sensory issues, mood disorders and some Autism issues. A quick search on You Tube will help you find some tutorial videos such as : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdCn-tDD_W0
The last two quilts I made were t-shirt quilts for my two youngest children. They collected and saved favorite shirts from their teen years, which I then made into quilts. Had my older kids known of such an idea, I am certain they would have requested one also. My oldest son still has a full size blue jean patch quilt that I made for him more than 30 years ago. It is on the guest bed in his home.
Originally quilts were made with bits of fabric scraps, worn out clothes, used linens and even feed sack bags. The pieces were arranged into a design or maybe a picture. The old and used was repurposed or recycled and given new life. It was how people were “green” centuries before we thought of green, back in the days when people did not waste anything.
Quilts are rather like people. Size, colors, variety, imperfections and wear vary. But each one is a work of art and valuable. They have different uses and purposes. Some are multi-use and others are specific design use. Some are young and others are old. New is not always better than old.
As parents we have the opportunity to guide and assist our children as they learn, grow, and discover their interests, talents, and preferences. Each of their lives is a patchwork of their personalities and experiences. Sometimes the process can be messy and mistakes will be made. But the result can be a blue ribbon showpiece. Help them to feel comfortable and secure with who they are.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” Psalm 139: 13-14