Posted by: clemscritters | March 4, 2011

The 40-year quilt

I have never professed to be able to sew.  My mother and my sister were and are wonderful with a sewing machine; me, not so much.  I try, get frustrated and quit halfway through most projects.  I am quite pleased that now I’ve completed the quilt I began when Daniel was around 12 (he’s 30 now) and given it to him for our February family Christmas.

Every quilt tells a story, I think, even if it is just that the creator loved each fabric, or that the fabric spoke to the artist, or that someone needed to be warmed by a quilt sewn with love.  The story of the 40-year quilt is special to me and so I’d like to share.

Way back (in the day) when I was about 18, I was engaged to Greg Nelson.  Greg was enrolling in Bible School at Pinecrest in Salisbury Center, NY, and we were going to make a quilt for him to take to school.  We went to the old Nichols mega-store in Marcy, and for $1 a yard, we bought six different prints of cotton.  We spent a couple of Saturday afternoons at my apartment, with my first Sears sewing machine, sewing the blocks together (4″ square, each).  The result was totally amateurish, but it served the purpose.  A backing of a purchased blanket reminded him that we spent this time together creating something warm and comforting.    Off he went to school.  God works in mysterious ways, they say, and only He knows why, but Gregory passed away about six months later.  Acute Leukemia they told me,  God’s will, whatever, didn’t make it any easier.  Gene Brown was Greg’s best friend and room mate at school, and he called me right after the services and asked me to come to school.  There he gave me the quilt and said he knew Greg would want me to have it.  I’ve toted it around with me for 40 years.

Fast forward, when Dan was around 12 he was (and still is) a Green Bay Packers fan.  I was in a fabric store around that time and found the Green Bay logo fabric.  Had to buy it, it spoke to me….. so, I started to make a quilt, seeing as by this time, I had actually had a lesson or two about hand quilting.  Started and never finished. Fits and starts. Half finished projects.  It got to be a joke between Dan and me… I’d promise to have the quilt done by high school graduation, then college graduation, then I don’t know what.  I suppose it took retirement to get me going.  Missing Dan so much being so far away, it helped to finish the quilt because I felt a little closer to him with every stitch.

Of course, a Green Bay Packers quilt for a 30 year old might be a little silly.  I put the 40-year quilt top on the other side, so that Dan will always know that his mom sews every stitch with love.  He has a little piece of me from who I used to be, to go along with my entire heart from who I am now


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