My mum, Nanette, made my youngest, Lou, a beautiful handmade cot quilt for her first birthday. To me, it’s a little work of art, in peaches and pinks, hand-stitched hearts, and small floral prints. And even though I helped Mum pick out the fabric, the first time I saw it all made up and beautiful, I couldn’t help but be emotional. I just loved the time and the care that had gone into it, and I could see her love for Lou in every stitch.
What I didn’t expect was how much Lou would love it too. She holds one corner in her small hand as she falls asleep – the corner that Mum had sweetly hand-stitched “Love Mama” onto. When she feels unwell or needs comfort, she will pull the quilt through the bars of her cot, and tuck it up under her arm, the rest trailing behind her on the floor. It’s been a constant companion for the first few uncertain weeks at day care, goes with us on long car trips, and needs to be checked-up-upon while drying on the line after a wash.
There’s just something so lovely about a handmade quilt. They’re soft, warm, traditional, and comforting, yes - but they also speak to me of rest, of a safe place, of family.
I also love the quilts that take pride of place in the home. You know the ones – draped over the arm of a couch, like an old companion; the more intricate ones, with months and months of work, hung with delight on a lonely wall.
A friend of mine has a beautiful marriage quilt hanging in her home – it’s a mismatched collection of decorated squares (each family had their own square to adorn), all sewn together. Nothing matches, and the individual styles are so varied - but it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen; it shows the devotion of an entire family and their shared marriage blessings of longevity, lifelong happiness, and the sweetest of love for the newly wedded couple.
Do you have a favourite / comforting quilting story?
Ps. Nanette’s beautiful handmade cot quilts will be available at our stall at Mathilda’s market on Saturday, 12th March.