Why handmade


I didn’t make this quilt. I didn’t pick the gorgeous fabrics. It’s not my creation but I love this quilt and its amazing story.

My friend contacted me around mid-February and told me that she wanted a sewing project she could do to keep her hands busy and her mind off some very devastating news. Her beloved Aunt, whom she described as a second Mother, had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and was not given much time. I suggested a quilt, since it would be comforting and practical, and would keep her busy. She has sewn quite a bit but had not ever made a quilt. I sent her a simple tutorial for making a strip quilt, which was a good first quilt project. She did the fabric selection and made the quilt top, then asked for my help to do the binding. I went over one evening after all our kids were in bed and helped her learn to bind it. She finished her first quilt in just a few days, and gave it to her aunt that week.

Yesterday while I was out to lunch with another good friend, I received a message that the Aunt had died, surrounded by family, listening to Elvis, and covered in her quilt. I sat at lunch crying for a woman I had never met. (As did the friend I was with when I shared the story.) I was so moved by her love for her Aunt, the time she took to make such a special gift, and the poignancy of her final moments wrapped in the quilt borne of that love. Now, the next day, I still cry when I think of it, and while I am writing this story. There is something about handmade that makes the sum greater than its parts.

When I made my twin sons’ toddler-bed quilts last year, we told them they were a special hug from Mommy, that if they were cold or scared they had extra “Snuggle Power” in the blankets to help them feel safe. They still refer to their quilts as their Snuggle Power Blankets. They believe that Mommy put extra love into those blankets and sleep with them every night. You can’t buy that at any price.

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