Quilting Sucks, and I Suck at Quilting. Here's Why I Still Do It.

This is the second of three parts on
legacy and what it means for my family.


cutting-tool-3673057_960_720I painstakingly pieced together a quilt for a son I had not yet met. We had decided we wanted to adopt a son, so I knew it would be a boy. I dreamed about this unknown boy and how he might become a part of this family, and for him, I created this gift of love. It’s a small quilt, and it was the second quilt that I had made (the first one I made was for my daughter). I had no idea what the bond would be between my daughter and this unknown son, but I believe it was sewn together as I patched two quilts, one for my future son, and one for my daughter. We did adopt our son, and every time I see his quilt, and his love for his quilt, it reminds me, and maybe him, about how much he was and is truly wanted and loved.

Each quilt has a story. Within each one is careful thought and consideration. In the case of my husband’s quilt, which will be made up of his favorite Nebraska Cornhuskers t-shirts, there is a long love story of a man, a school and a football legacy. I must tell the truth. It’s been some time since I’ve spent any mental energy on the putting together of my husband’s quilt. I’ve long considered – I mean for years I’ve considered this – paying a company to piece together my husband’s t-shirt quilt, but I just can’t bring myself to place the online order. Even though I know there will be frustrations and anxiety around the deconstruction and construction of my husband’s beloved t-shirts, I still can’t bring myself to hand off this labor of love to a perfect stranger who is working in a factory.

Even though I’m not a fan of quilting, and even though I have no idea how to make a t-shirt quilt, I can’t bring myself to hand off this labor of love. I can’t buy my way out of this. So, every time I hear about someone who can make a t-shirt quilt for me, I get excited, and then I go to a reality check. I know my husband, and I know his love language: Acts of Service. I just can’t bring myself to imagine his disappointment when he finds out his “handmade” gift was actually manufactured in a factory several states away because I didn’t care enough to make it myself. I think that’s worse than buying a gift at the last minute, and it would be a very sad demonstration of my love for my dear, sweet, kind and loving husband.

My oldest son is next in line for a quilt after my husband. There's going to be a lot of quilting going on, and I must confess: I hate quilting. I don’t like the work. I am impatient, and quilting is a (long) labor of love. And the math. So much math!!! So why do I do it? Because as I piece together these quilts, it becomes a tangible demonstration of my love for my family. It says, “Here. I made this especially for you because I love you.” This is part of my family’s legacy. It never becomes out of fashion or too small like something that is worn. I will continue to quilt for my loved ones because it provides comfort on many levels and is a demonstration of my love for my family. I quilt because I love, and my love will be evident long after I have left my worldly station.

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