A Jarring Moment of Self Doubt...then back to work on the 12 Christmas Quilts

Well, the weekend in Chicagoland for my dad’s 80th birthday is behind us and the weekend in Baltimore with George’s 92 year old aunt is coming up.  I was able to finish the top of quilt #5 Wednesday night before we left for the trip west and I have been busy cutting out the block work for quilt #6 (tentatively called Santas on Parade) and quilt # 7, official pattern name “Lady of the Lake” (my own name for it yet to be determined).  So even though we are traveling tons of time here, I am making progress on the quilts.  I hope to have all of #6 and #7 pinned this Baltimore weekend and sew those two tops up between now and the end of the month when we leave for China for nine days.  Then I will start #8 upon our return March 10.  I have the fabric selected for #8 but am still working on a pattern selection.

Two remarkable things have happened in my little quilt world this past week.  The first is that I finally sent off Ati’s quilt to Germany, hopefully for keeps this time.  As you may recall, I sent it to his family home for his 21st birthday and it got returned to me for non-payment of customs dues.  Ati’s brother forgot to tell him it was waiting for him at the post office and they returned it (Thank God!).  Ati had me send it to Marie’s (his significant other's) house where he often is and they will make a home together with it eventually.  So farewell to one of my quilt children.  I will be on pins and needles until I hear that it arrives safely.

Secondly, and this one is less tangible but more upsetting, I had one of those moments of self doubt this past weekend that can be so unsettling.  Isn’t it Thomas Wolfe who said you can never go home again?  Well, going home always rocks my psychic boat a bit.  My parents, siblings and I are very different from each other in many ways, one of which is our take on material possessions and our homes.  My parents and siblings keep state of the art homes, elegantly decorated and eclectic is not an adjective I would ever use for their living spaces.  My home is not professionally decorated, rarely coordinated and very eclectic!  Also, my home is not as clean as theirs.  Obsessive housecleaning leaves little time for quilting.  It is important to note, my mom and my sisters do not work full time and do not have an obsessive art passion so they have more time (and inclination) to keep spotless, well decorated homes.

So, knowing I am making these quilts for them, I am looking at their homes and worrying that I will make the quilts, send the quilts and they will sit in boxes or on shelves because they do not fit the décor.  I actually considered scraping the entire project as gifts for family members and giving the quilts instead to people more like me who would treasure them, regardless of how they fit into the home décor.  That idea was short lived.  I am 98.9999% sure the quilts will go to family members.  I will just have to make sure certain quilts fit certain décor.  Grrrrr….gets in the way of the creative process, to say the least.

More on all this later.  Hope you are all having fantastic quilt weeks!


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Comment by B. Sue Lohr on February 16, 2013 at 11:30am

Carla is so right!  I have "inherited" an antique quilt from someone who has no one to pass it on to - what a shame!  But to ME, it is a huge treasure!  I am going to be putting together the history of the family and quilt with this person this spring, taking pictures of the grave site even of her grandmother who made the quilt, and will keep it with the quilt forever.  Another friend just asked me if I would take an antique quilt that's been in her family for a long time.  Her two daughters (in their early 30's) do not want it.  Again, I will chronicle the history and also leave instructions for my children that they are to get ahold of these ladies when I die and see if their hearts have not changed.  It will always be available to them.  But in the meantime, I will treasure those quilts and marvel at the workmanship and thought that went into them.  What a blessing quilts are for many generations to come!

Comment by carla j walton on February 15, 2013 at 7:41pm

I can relate to this in so many ways. I was always afraid my treasured quilts would end up in a garage sale or in some sloppy so called antique store - not the nice ones. then I realized something. even if, lets say - the family member who gets it first, does not appreciate it, and  hides it up in a closet for years. maybe someone down the line will and then it will still be new. and lets then say it ends up in an antique store. I have to think that the person who sees it and picks it up with delight will surely treasure it more than it's first intended target. I made this realization when I , myself, picked up a beautiful hand pieced lone star and a wedding ring quilt which were both filthy. I cleaned them up and I feel like I was a grand prize winner. the no doubt long gone quilter and myself are both elated. :) very happy ending.

Comment by Cheri Foster on February 15, 2013 at 5:01pm

Ginnie, I so hope they love and appreciate them enough to use them and display them.  I made a baby quilt for my grandson and his mother would not use it because she did not want it to get dirty so she just wrapped it up and put it on a shelf so he never used it as a baby.  I was upset but then I remembered that I made it and gave it away.  So it was hers to do with as she wanted. (even though it belonged to my grandson)

Comment by B. Sue Lohr on February 15, 2013 at 4:47pm

I can SO relate to your eclectic home and passion to create!  I also understand how putting in all that effort and not having the finished product wanted or appreciate can be heartbreaking.  Good luck deciding what to do with your beautiful quilts.  I hope they find homes filled with love.

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