Blanket or Quilt?

I overheard this conversation at an antique shop recently.

“That’s a really old blanket”, she exclaimed.  A quilting friend who also heard the conversation bit her lip. “It isn’t a blanket, she replied, a quilt is more than that.” “Well, I’ve never been a fan of quilts,” she responded.

Not a fan? How is that possible? Although it has occurred on more than one occasion, I am always surprised when I hear people state that they never really liked quilts.  I decided to ask a few people why they dislike quilts. Some don’t like the feel. Some prefer a fluffy comforter. Others think they are old-fashioned.

Meg, the current owner of this quilt shown below,  said it best:

“When my grandmother passed, the only thing I wanted was her green quilt. As I have learned over the years, especially in my current job (palliative care), quilts represent much more than a blanket for many of us.”

I had the honor of repairing this quilt created around the 1920s. It was clearly well-loved over the years. The sides and back were torn. Several of the squares were tattered or completely off.


As I hand-stitched new bows, repairing each tattered square, I imagined the quilter’s children, as they grew older, pointing to the fabric they remembered from their younger days.



I wanted to preserve the original stitching as much as possible, while also giving this old girl many more decades of love. In order to achieve longevity and the original hand-stitching, I machine-quilted keeping the pieced quilt, batting and backing in-tact. The machine bumped and jumped each time I approached a clump of batting.  At first I lamented the uneven lines, then chuckled, imagining the original quilter saying, “That old thing is still around? My goodness, if I thought it would last this long, I would have…”. “Sorry she is making such fits.”

Some things will never change. A quilt will always be a quilt meant to be loved and snuggled under.  The quilter will want to do better the next time around. A blessed quilter will have their work treasured for decades and generations to come, tattered squares and all.

Until next time,

Heidi (a.k.a. Sugarplum)



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