Thursday, March 13, 2008

Show and Share Thursday: Quilts

Whenever I admire and/or purchase a quilt, I'm asked if I myself, quilt. My response is always the same: "Nope, but I'm happy to support other quilters' nasty habit!" Smiles and laughter follow, and if the seller's husband is around (nope, haven't bought from a male quilter...yet!), he thanks me, then mumbles under his breath something along the lines of "great, now my wife can go buy *more* fabric, mutter mutter mutter."

Most of my quilts are wall-hanging or crib sized, easy to use as classroom or home decor.

While I do have three or four full-sized quilts, one is my favorite: the Bear Paw made for me and my husband when we married.

While in Alaska, I worked at a school that was RICH in quilters. Almost every female teacher had a fabric stash *somewhere* and every male teacher offered up his wife's sewing services when retirement or baby quilts were made for colleagues and their families. When asked what I would like from the staff as a wedding gift, I stammered, shocked that no one knew- of course, I had hoped for a quilt.

My colleagues had been my surrogate family for a decade, had helped me raise my children, had seen me through good times and bad. They'd even put my then-fiancé through a good-natured "application process" when we first started dating, since my mother had moved out of state. When Miss Mary Ann, quilter extraordinaire asked me to choose a pattern, I knew it had to be something my husband, a fan of bears, would appreciate. The Bear Paw it was. I loved pinks, my husband preferred greens. Batik was the answer. And as a special nod to my husband's appreciation for all things Harley Davidson, the lining fabric was hogs on Harleys.

Each "paw" square was done by a colleague at school, and they all managed to keep their work hidden from me, right up until our wedding day. They mounted the topper as a wall display in the hall where we held our ceremony and reception, and I saw it for the first time as I walked down the aisle.

My husband and I had no idea that we'd be relocated the following year, and the quilt has traveled with us from Alaska to New Mexico to Kansas, to Texas, and apparently, *back* to Kansas this summer. It has been draped across the foot of our bed, has been mounted on the wall for display, and during the toddler's messy stage, has been folded neatly on top of one of our shelves in our bedroom closet, easily within reach when messy fingers and drippy juice cups are out of the vicinity.

I love quilts- they're my "grown up" blankies!

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