"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." Anne Frank
I just want to say thank you to all my friends who have been spreading the word about my quilt giveaway. And to those who have already donated and commented on the post below. When I decided to give the quilt away to people who donate to a charity that will help victims of Hurricane Sandy, I did not expect to feel much more than the satisfaction of doing "something." What I'm discovering is that the ripples from that small "something" are spreading much farther than I ever dared to dream. And filling my heart way more than I expected.
There's not much I like better than curling up under a quilt stitched with love by an ancestor. When I was a kid and too sick to go to school my mom would open out the sofa bed in the den, cover me with Grandmothers red and white Lone Star quilt and fix me Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. There's just something so comforting about a quilt, that a blanket or polar fleece doesn't provide. Especially the ones that have been around for awhile. The ones that are a little ragged on the edges. The ones that are so frayed that the batting is coming loose. The ones that have been well-used and well-loved.
As with most things in this age of simplification, today's quilts are not always hand-pieced or quilted. Though I'm sure there are still some stalwart quilters who do things the old fashioned way. At one time I boycotted quilts made in Asian factories. It just didn't seem right that an American tradition should be bastardized in that way. Like most things, quilts have degrees of beauty, functionality, and lasting quality. But no matter how or where it's made, a quilt can still provide comfort as well as beauty.
For a long while I left my sewing machine on the shelf, in the closet. I forgot about the mountains of fabric, that sat there waiting for me. Then one day in an unusual fit of cleaning, I decided I'd get rid of it all. If I wasn't going to use it, I might as well find someone who would. But as luck and providence would have it my daughter, a lover of quilts that goes beyond the norm, reminded me that there is no such thing as having too many quilts. Since she was getting married I knew the time was right to immerse myself back into piles of cloth. I'd forgotten how satisfying it is to cut and sew and cut some more and sew some more and make a big mess. I'd forgotten the thrill of seeing a quilt come together. It's like working on a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle. It takes shape gradually. Then one day, when the last piece fits into place, you've got this picture that you thought you'd recognize but it surpasses your expectations. I think every quilter - novice or prize winner - knows what I'm talking about.
In the big scheme of things my quilt offering and your donations may not be much more than a drop in the proverbial bucket. But the fact that they are given with love and compassion for those who find themselves with nothing, makes the bucket overflow.
I can't say it enough. And I'll be saying it again and again. Thank you.
May all whose lives look their broken pieces of china right now know, in the depths of their soul, the comfort and peace of being stitched back together by the hands of love, like my Grandmother's Lone Star quilt.