Friday, May 9, 2014

A Special Gift ~ To Be Wrapped in Love

I received the most amazing gift about a month ago, and I haven't been able to think of a way to tell her just exactly what it meant to me, so I thought, "Hey, you're a writer! Write her a post!"  So M. ~ this is for you.  Thank you.

M. and I met when I was her daughter's teacher my very first year of teaching.  1988.  We've been friends ever since.  Our friendship extended beyond just teacher/mother of daughter for many private reasons.  She is very special to me.  She is a quilter.  I know lots of quilters.  I know what it takes to make one, the mathematical (um, yeah...) precision it takes, the long hours, and the money invested.  I'm in awe of the skills that quilters have.  

No one has ever made me quilt before, but M. surprised me with a queen-sized "crazy quilt" in all my favorite colors.  Out of the blue.  She'd called and said she'd like to stop by because she was in town. She brought me this.




Isn't it gorgeous?




I've tried to figure out the pattern. It's, um, crazy ;-)  I asked to explain, "How in the world..." and she tried, but even my highly-trained-in-geometry brain glazed over.






The back shows the machine quilting.






Then we discussed the Big Question.  When given an heirloom like this, do you use it like a normal blanket, or do you hang it on the wall to preserve it? Or do you reach some sort of reasonable compromise so that it's used, enjoyed, yet still preserved for future generations?

Here's what I decided.  It's my bedspread, in other words, I take it off at night, fold it up neatly, and put it back on in the morning.  I do cheat though.  If I need a nap, I'll crawl under it (carefully) and snuggle up.  It makes me feel so loved and happy to be under all that wonder.  Sometimes late at night when I'm curled up with my favorite cooking show, I'll again crawl under it before I put it away for the night.

During the day, when I'm sitting on my bed writing (my favorite place to do so, great back pillow, newly remodeled, tranquil CLUTTER FREE room) (only part of the house really) (and now has my window A/C), I fold back enough of it that I'm not going to cause damage.  Then I have that splendor laid out before me as I work.

What do you do when given a keepsake gift?  Use it?  Keep it safe?  Has anyone ever made you a quilt?  Are you a quilter?

~Tina, wrapped in love, and oh so grateful


©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photos by me

28 comments:

Nick Wilford said...

What a lovely gift. We have a friend who is a quilter, I don't know how she does it. She made some with her own cloth and then a couple using pieces of old t-shirts from each of us cut up. They look really great and colourful. She made one like that for Andrew to take to college, then of course he passed away and we buried it with him. So he still has a piece of all of us with him.

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina A loving gift wrapped in love. Wonderful friendship and longtime relationship. Wish both of you a long and everlasting friendship.
Good Wishes
Have a Happy Weekend.
~ Philip

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was really nice of her.
I confess, I'd just use it. That's what it was made for. My wife and I have already warned our parents that if they pass down the fine China to us, we're just going to use it like normal dishes.

Mason Canyon said...

That is an awesome quilt. I like the way you're using it - using it, but still taking care to preserve it. I'm not a quilter but I did make a quilt for my best friend one Christmas. It was fun.

Jo said...

I agree with Alex. Use it. Quilts were made to keep you warm in bed. A lovely gift.

Finley Jayne said...

My husband's grandmother made us a quilt for our wedding and I kept it in a spare bedroom until we had our first child. Kids + heirloom quilt do not go well together lol. So, I sent the quilt to my in-laws house, where it's in safe keeping until our kids are older and we decide to use it again :)

Stopping by from the A-Z Roadtrip to say 'hi'!
Finley Jayne
http://finleyjayne.com/

Cathy Kennedy said...

My MIL made us some quilts when we were first married, and I made the mistake of leaving them behind in a laundry mat to never recover them. That saddens me. DH grandmother made him one when he was a young boy. We have that one tucked away because it has a little wear on it. Maybe in time, we can find a good place to display it. My grandma made me one, too, but I have it put away because it's a twin size quilt. I always wanted to learn how to quilt and haven't yet. Of course, it doesn't mean I can't now. It would be fun to try, but I know it does take a lot of time and expense. What a lovely surprise your friend gave you! You're quite blessed!

JoJo said...

that quilt is da bomb. Love the colours!!! I have never quilted and doubt I'll ever try. Well I did quilt a couple potholders but it was a craft kit of the month project. All the cool stuff people have made me are on display in my craft room. I like to be surrounded by beautiful items made by craftspeople!

Brian Miller said...

oh that is awesome...what a great gift....i have a quilt that my gramma made me that i bring out when the weather turns...its so heavy and warm.....and i love tracing the patches...

Sandy said...

I think it's really not a keepsake in that it's new. It's only a keepsake when it's old? I would use and enjoy it. Quilts are very durable. I would suggest you fold it differently so the folds don't become creases...that helps keep it from breaking down. I would also caution you against not washing it. Most folks think they can preserve a quilt or afghan better if they don't wash it, not true...dirty is harder on fabric and textiles then a good gentle washing. Sunlight is also hard on fabric. I would try to protect it from direct light by shading your room. Winter sun is harder on it then summer sun. It's beautiful and she is quite talented. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Road tripping through a-z, turns out it's perfect as I was continuing to blog a-z in May anyway.

Sandy at Traveling Suitcase

angelsbark said...

What an amazing gift! It is stunningly gorgeous. I would probably do the same thing that you are doing with it. What love went into that magnificent quilt! To be cherished for a lifetime...

Lara Lacombe said...

What a gorgeous quilt! How thoughtful of her!

bemuzin.com said...

Simply gorgeous. Wrap yourself in love every day! I always wondered why Mom tucked away the "good stuff" and it's still in her drawers. The few heirlooms she's given me, I use. Yes, I've worn out or broken a few, but I've not regretted using them rather than stashing them.

If I bought a quilt, I might hang it. But a loving gift from a frirnd is absolutely "wearable art". Use it till you use it up!

Andrew Leon said...

My grandmother and several other of my relatives used to quilt. There are probably some of her quilts at my parents' house, but I don't know for sure.

Michael Di Gesu said...

HI, Tina,

GORGEOUS.... I love hand made crafts and that one is really cool.

I think what you're doing is perfect. You're enjoying it, yet keeping it safe. That's what i would do.

Sadly, I'm the type to craft things for other people and in ALL of my years only one person ever gave me a gift truly from the heart and that was a fantastic scrap book.... She had spent hours putting it together and it means so much to me...

Suzanne Furness said...

Oh wow the quilt is beautiful. What a wonderful gift.

melindahagenson.com said...

Absolutely beautiful--what an amazing gift! And how wonderful that you're still friends after all these years. Thank you for sharing this.

Leandra Wallace said...

What an amazing gift of time and love! And it's something that can be passed down as a family heirloom, which are always true treasures.

D Biswas said...

This is an amazing gift, not just because of the art, effort, and yep, math that has gone into it, but also the love.

I think you're doing the perfect thing by using it, surrounding yourself in all that love. If you put it on a wall, both you and the quilt would feel so cold and lonely.

If you ever doubt whether the quilt wants to be used, ask it and it will tell you what it thinks-- you're a writer, I'm sure you'll channel its voice for you, and hopefully, all of us, to hear.

Rachel said...

I feel as though I see a pattern but I can't pick it out. It's gorgeous, though! My...great grandmother (maybe?) was a quilter and made one for my mom. She hung it up on the wall. I love that idea but I also think it should only be done in a room with an air purifier because otherwise it ends up covered in dust. Covered. Constantly. My grandma uses hers as bedspreads or cuddle up blankets on the couch (even the ones she used to crochet). They give a feeling of love but usually get worn out so fast, which is why I'd hang it up.

cleemckenzie said...

What an amazing gift! I have several from my grandmother and great-grandmother that I cherish and your compromise is perfect: use it with love and care.

Before I fold them up, I always take a moment to appreciate the stitches, the hours, the meticulous care that went into each quilt.

You're lucky to have such a good friend.

Claudia said...

oh wow... what an AMAZING gift!!!
that is really so beautiful
i never had the patience to do something like this... a labor of love for sure..

DAVID WALSTON said...

My wife's Great-Grandmother made us a quilt. We break it out when it gets cold, but it doesn't get too cold to use it much.

LittleCely said...

What a thoughtful gift!

I tend to use things that are given to me, the ones that are meant to be used of course. Especially one made with such love, I just treat it very carefully.

LittleCely's Blog

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. what an amazing thought - and how generous of spirit and the time she spent making the quilt knowing you'd love it ... then being able to give you this tremendous present in person.

Lucky lady - and gosh I'd be luxuriating under it too .. the main thing is - you are using it, but treating it with all the respect your work of art deserves - and you'll never forget your friend or her daughter ..

Brilliant to see - and lucky, lucky you ... enjoy and have a fabulous Mother's Day ... cheers Hilary

Conlee Ricketts said...

That is absolutely beautiful!! How magnificent for so many reasons. The friendship, the keepsake, the beauty, the love, and all that good stuff. I say use the heck out of it!! Curl up with it every chance you get. In my mind a quilt is never happy unless it gets to fulfill its life's purpose. I have pulled out all the "fine china" that my mom kept hidden away my whole life and use it as my every day. I get to remember her every day in the process. What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. Glad I made the stop here on my road trip. I will be back! http://www.conleericketts.com/blog.html

shelly said...

Happy Mother's Day, Tina!

It's nice when someone makes you a gift of love like that.

Hugs and chocolate!

loverofwords said...

What a lovely gift. When I was 17, my mother gave me a watch with 17 jewels (before the battery watches,etc) and she said "You are like 17 jewels to me." And, it was stolen, and. . .I let her down in so many ways. She did not live to see me graduate from college and finally get my life together. So the gift was bittersweet to me.