Enjoyable vs Heirloom Quilts


Discusses some key considerations when trying to decide if you should make a quilt to be on display or enjoyed by loved ones.

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Enjoyable vs Heirloom Quilts

I strongly advocate using and enjoying quilts! The thought of a quilt that has been lovingly made being stored inside of my dark closet in a pillowcase does not bring me happiness. Don't get me wrong, I think we should purchase the best supplies that we can and take good loving care of our quilts, but I also think that we should enjoy them, and share our love of quilts with others.

Enjoyable vs Heirloom Quilts


Wouldn't you rather see a baby smile that is using a quilt you made rather than have it sitting on a shelf that they see from a distance but never get to touch? Will the quilt you make be “preserved” so that the recipient can see it in pristine condition when he/she is an adult and it is too small for them to use. Personally, I would much rather see them use and enjoy the quilt and take a picture with it than have it be “too good to use” and never let them feel the love and warmth of the quilt as it was intended.

Cuddly Quacker Lovable Quilt


The same goes for quilts made for adults, don't you want the person that you make the quilt for to enjoy it to the fullest and wrap up with it on a cold day and know that they are receiving a virtual hug from you? It is a wonderful thing to make a quilt to pass on to future generations, but are they going to like the colors and patterns that we like now? Styles and colors change over the years, why I bet you probably don't know too many people that are just itching to get their hands on a “calico” quilt from the 70's or early 80's. I know how much my quilting taste has changed over the last 30 years and I can tell you that some of those first pieces that I made definitely would not suit my family color or design-wise now and 20-30 years from now they would probably end up as a charitable donation rather than a warm memory of something that was made by a relative even if they were pristine. On the other hand, the quilts that my family has snuggled under mean something to them, they have good memories attached, and therefore will be quilts that are kept even though they may be worn and tattered, they are sentimental pieces of our history and we don't let go of them lightly. Even after their “useful” life is over, they are saved as they hold such good memories.

Snuggle Quilt


My family knows the work that goes in to making a quilt, so they also realize that the quilt should be taken care of, meaning you don't take a quilt that took 100s of hours to make and throw it down on the pool deck to lounge on letting the chlorine drip from your bathing suit all over it, but it is perfectly fine to place it over the back of the chair or couch and snuggle up in it when you watch television. If someone is covered in mud, it's not the time to use the quilt to preserve the car upholstery, use an old blanket, but if you will be on a long drive and need something soft to sleep with in the backseat of the car go for the quilt. Just use common sense – our foremothers and fathers used new cloth for clothing, and when it got too worn in places, they cut it up and used the good portions of the fabric to make quilts to keep them warm and some of those quilts still exist today. No, they may not be in pristine condition, but we can still appreciate the love and work that went in to their construction and we can follow their patterns to make a new quilt. Maybe what we should be leaving for future generations is the same, an idea, a bit of history, and inspiration rather than trying to keep our quilts pristine thinking that our future relatives will want exactly what we have now.

Now, go wrap up in your favorite quilt and enjoy it guilt-free while you think about what your next quilt will look like.


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