I've been thinking about how I use the quilts I have made. Yesterday I was at a little gathering of quilters and someone held up a beautiful queensize quilt and remarked that they wouldn't think of sleeping under it - that it was just for show. I thought of this old quilt - made by my grandmother in the 1940's.
This was the quilt on my bed when I was a very small child (in the 1970's) it was old and used already then. When I was 5 years old I decided I wanted a comforter and so (horrifying confession) my little sister and I found spots in the quilt top that were worn through - small holes I guess you would call them - and we used a coat hanger end to rip (I can hardly bear to type this) the patches through thinking that if the old quilt was ruined then my mom would buy us a new comforter. Well I was wrong. My grandmother came to visit, bought a new, patterned sheet and sewed it over the now ruined top of the quilt and tied it through the layers. I slept under this quilt until I got married (1997). By now it was the back and the edges that were in tatters. I put it away - it was an old friend and I wasn't going to part with it.
Last year my parents came to visit and we got talking about Grandma's quilts. I have 3 other quilts made by her but I could not recall the pattern on this quilt so I removed the sheet and revealed this old, used up, worn out, faded "Nancy's Nosegay" quilt. Handpieced, hand quilted, made from scraps of my aunt's skirts and Grandma's dresses and some new bits. My dad remembered her making this quilt when he was young. What do I do with it now? Around the edges are blocks with no damage - I could salvage them and do something with them...
This next quilt is one I made for daughter #2. She's been using it for 5 years now. Every night when I tuck her in - I look at the quilt and appreciate the fabric, the pinwheels ect... I love that I can tuck her in under a quilt I made for her myself. The other day I discovered she had colored one of the flowers in the fabric with a purple marker. (serves me right after what I did to my grandmother's quilt!)
To sum up. I make quilts to be used. In my home, we all sleep under the quilts I have sewn. One day they may look like the tattered old quilt at the top. But I'm okay with that - It just gives me the excuse to make another new quilt. :0)