A Quilt, or Two

I couldn’t really talk about these before because they were both gifts. The one above was for my son and his wife. When I made the first round of HUGE quilts, they’d just gotten married and weren’t really sure they wanted a quilt (she told me later her grandma made VERY traditional quilts, and she’s more of a modern gal). But after seeing some of mine, we all went down to the fabric store last Thanksgiving and picked out the pattern and fabrics; I added some from my stash when I needed to broaden the palette.

I gave this to Matthew and Kimberly this weekend, and they seemed happy to have it. I’m sure they’ll send me a photo of it on their bed soon (hint, hint) and I’m happy they like it.

I didn’t really have a name for it when I sent it off with them, but today I had some time to think about it. . . and go through my favorite quote book. I couldn’t resist Marlowe’s verse, from The Passionate Shepherd to his Love:

Come live with me, and be my love,

And we will all the pleasures prove,

That valleys, groves, or hills or fields,

Or woods and steepy mountains, yield.

While it’s everyone’s mind runs to the obvious (we are so conditioned) I read it on a different level. The quilt has zig-zags, that when looked at from a sideways direction, looks like little mountains, so the name is Steepy Mountains. And for Matthew and Kimberly, who are one of the Most Alive Couples in the universe, they will have lush groves in their life, mysterious woods, rolling valleys, but also the steepy mountains and fields and fields to sow and tend and harvest. Of course, I wish them cuddle time under this quilt, but I wish them most of all, that they live together forever and ever and be each other’s love.

This one, titled Sun and Sand was made in honor of the marriage of my son Peter to his love Megan this past weekend. While they both live in Davis, the wedding was held in Monterey, where a lovely confluence of beach and tide pools and sun and sand occurs. The colors of beigy/yellow of a warmed beach and delft blues of a clear summer sky I thought would represent the world around them on the weekend of their wedding.

It was begun in a class I took last summer, and I wasn’t quite sure about it initially. It’s hard to see the final project when you’ve just spent hours at the sewing machine. I bothered my friend Rhonda in Washington, DC until she said finally: “Get it quilted, and then decide!” I took her advice (she’s an award-winning quilter with impeccable taste), and when I brought it home from the quilter’s, I fell in love with it. I’d already decided it should go to my newlyweds, but boy, did I have a hard time parting with it!

And isn’t that how love happens? We begin, we stitch our lives together, not always knowing how things will turn out, but over time, we blend our hopes and dreams and fears together, and our love changes a few disparate pieces, a lump of wadding and some raw materials into a sun-bursting of a quilt. And we like it, and each other. (Of course, this is all rather cheesy, but hey, I’ve just been to a wedding and I’m all aglow.)

I first discovered this experience when I was stitching a quilt at the bedside of my mother, who had just had a heart attack. I had just pinned the quilt top to the batting and backing and struggled to get it in the hoop to quilt it. I sat there day after day, visiting, working. As I put more quilting stitches in, the quilt sandwich ceased to be three separate pieces of fabric and instead started to behave as one piece.

Enough of the metaphors. . . I just know I send my love to these two couples with my hands and heart and quilts.