Blessing in a Really Bad Idea

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 2 comments

Blessing in a Really Bad Idea

About two years ago, my sister-in-law Ginny suggested that we make a quilt together. She is a quilter and a friend had given her quite a bit of material with teapots on it and she thought of me.

Now, my reaction was not very appreciative, I admit. I think I might have laughed out loud. Not a joyful laugh, a sarcastic “what are you thinking-don’t you know who you are talking to—let me share a little more about myself” laugh. After all, I am not on good terms with sewing machines, material, needles, thread. . . any of those things. My mom and home economics teacher did their best, but it didn’t take.


But I didn’t say no. After my initial negative response, I tried to be interested. She persisted. I resisted. She persisted.


Two years ago this May Bruce had half of his thyroid removed. Ginny, because she is an awesome sister-in-law and because this is what she does when someone is waiting at the hospital, came to sit with me. But she came prepared. She brought several pieces of The Material to show me.


I have to admit I was a bit more enthused and quickly—I know, it’s too late to say quickly—agreed to do it. We set a date to start.


When I arrived and we went to Ginny’s amazing quilt making room upstairs I was like a fish out of water. I was also lost in a brain fog and was having difficulty even coming to terms with what I was about to take part in. She pointed to some material and said that it would need ironed. I could do that. I actually enjoy ironing.


Here are some of the things I learned while working on the quilt.


Ironing is relaxing and helps me get rid of stress.

               I enjoy the creativity of choosing different materials to put together in a square.

               I would rather pick the materials and iron than actually cut the material.

               Sewing machines still don’t like me.

               My sister-in-law is a dear friend.

So, it took us a year, but we finished it on August 17th. I was really excited to get it done, because I wanted to take it home to SD and to the reunion in NE to show all of my family. We have a lot of seamstresses in our family and several quilt makers. I could just imagine how impressed they were going to be with my tied quilt, even if it was smaller than a twin bed—a throw quilt.

Of course, as it happened I got it done just in the nick of time. August 22nd we got the call that Daddy had suffered another stroke and he would be going to heaven soon. So, we quickly packed the car and left the next morning, the quilt in the back seat.


When we arrived at the hospice house we brought the quilt in. I knew I would be spending the night and I wanted my quilt. Besides, I wanted to show my family. It was an instant hit. The air conditioning felt cold that evening and the batting we put in the quilt is very heavy. (Ginny was afraid it would be too heavy and warm, but I assured her I like heavy. It was almost like a weighted blanket.) Vonda nabbed it and wrapped up in it. You could see her relaxing under the warmth and weight.


Over the next ten days and nights in hospice that blanket made its rounds. It was a comfort day and night.


Now, I use it every day. Sometimes at night on my bed as an extra cover or when I sit in my pink rocking chair and read. Other times I snuggle under it on the couch when we are watching TV.


It is the quilt Ginny badgered me into making.


It is the quilt with material from my baby clothes, clothes Grandma Jones and Aunt Florence made me and then Mom remade for little dresses for Vonda when she was a toddler, and lots of tea pot material.


And it is the quilt that saw me through a most trying time.


And I thought it was a bad idea.


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  1. Sandy Carlson

    Tears, Miriam. Sweet tears flowing from the warmth of your words & warmth of your quilt. Thank you for sharing. You blessed me.