What do you visualize when you hear the words ‘quilt’ or ‘quilting’? My thoughts always go to ‘old’ – my grandmothers or great-grandmothers, patience, and time. My goodness, it can take years to finish one quilt and then, does the recipient of that treasure even appreciate the talent or the time that has been poured into the finished product. After starting my own very basic quilt pattern for the first-time, I understood why the words ‘quilt’ and quit’ are so visually and auditorally similar! Quilting is not for the faint of heart – even if you are attempting a beginner’s patterns.
There is something addicting about selecting fabrics to piece together. As it is stitched together, it really does begin to share a story about its creator. This year, my second grade students studied The Underground Railroad. They were fascinated by the fact that quilters played a huge role in leading people to safety during that time. Different patterns, various stitches, and even specific knots sent a message to those that were travelling north in search of freedom.
The completed work with its message woven within was hung in a place where the weary travellers could see it and know whether it was safe to proceed forward or if hiding would be necessary. If that story isn’t amazing in itself, these quilts were created by hand – not machine stitched. And, the artists were uneducated for the most part, because education was prohibited for slaves – the ultimate oppression.
I have now started my third quilt with this particular pattern – third time’s a charm! I am really trying to correct some of the errors I made when piecing together my first two ‘masterpieces’.
I think this one tells a rather happy story, don’t you!