Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Grace" quilts

I have long bristled at the concept of "charity". It's lopsided, hierarchical; it fails to acknowledge that very often those who "receive" also have much to give, and that those who give "material" items may have deficits that drive our giving. Often, this is a need for connection and meaning; when it comes to quilting, it may be a kind of freedom from criticality, a kind of "grace" to ourselves (and to our fabrics!) as designers and makers.

That's why I propose calling them "grace quilts" instead.

Here's one "grace quilt" I made for a woman in poverty who is about to give birth by C-section. It was a surprise how easily this came together. Just cut and stitch, hardly any labor at all (ha!)

All winter, our religious fellowship has been making charity grace quilts for a local mission that indicated bedding was in high demand. Winter is a motivating reality here in Iowa! I whipped up this grace quilt out of upholstery fabric samples. Quilting it on my longarm gave me so much pleasure! I really love the central panel's generous view of nature:

I whipped up this grace quilt

because I had this adorable fabric for backing (a gift).

(after discovering that I didn't have enough solid flannel to finish the top, and that Jo-Ann's had entirely changed their color lines in solid flannel, I realized I had no choice but to surrender to "what is"!)

I whipped up this grace quilt out of what was left in my flannel collection. I literally had only one 10" x 10" square of flannel in my house when I was done. Grace just happened as the pieces came together, and this top is now quilted and keeping someone warm.

I love the thought of introducing beauty and the surprise of being gifted into people's lives. I hope my quilts communicate the joy in making and connecting with "someone-out-there" who may appreciate these scraps of beauty on several layers.

Halfway through my latest grace quilt, I realized it was suited for a dear friend. More soon!

Thank you for reading my post(s), another form of grace.