Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Recently, one of the members our little quilt guild died suddenly -- only weeks before she was being featured in a local quilt show.  I really didn't know DT well but apparently she was a talented quilter;  I don't remember her bringing any of her quilts to guild so I'm not sure I've ever seen her work.

But others had and she loved quilting.  In honor of her passion, her casket was draped with a quilt that was to be featured in her show.  Don't you love that?  How fitting.  And her family was honored to loan her quilts to the show so that she could be honored in her absence.

This has led me to recall P from our Chicago quilt group (not even loosely defined as a "guild").  P died way too young and suddenly.  She was also a wonderful quilter and and I remember smiling as I walked into the funeral home and there were quilts all over the visitation room.  What incredible color to compete with the floral arrangements. Her daughters were telling the story of each of the quilts as they visited with those that came to pay their respects.  I will never forget the snippets of fabrics and small quilt blocks that were slipped into P's casket -- and even into her hands.  

I don't intend for this to be morbid or maudlin -- but rather to celebrate the community and love of quilting that we share.  We see it in life and we see it in death.

The following poem was included in DT's memorial card.  I have never seen this before and can't give credit where credit is due.  There was none in the card as well.  If anyone knows the origin, please let me know so I can update with author's name.  

Edited 4.19.13.  Thanks to Snowcatcher for letting me know this was written by Shutta Crum for her mother.  The link is here.

My Mother Taught Me to Quilt

I learned from my mother how to quilt—

how to measure the width and length,

how to find the exact shade of a rainy day

or the hue of a grandchild’s trust.

She taught me that the whole is made up

of the piecings of each day, sewn one to the next.

And to save scraps; you never know when you’ll need one.


She taught me to ease dissonance

into harmonies of pattern, and when to stitch blind.

She told me that the straight grain is strong

but I must learn to work with bias—

for there are days when the fabric must stretch.

And she said there would be rough patches

over which I could appliqué flowers.


Then she taught me how to layer it together—

how to rock my needle, hand-stitching this work of mine

to the warm core and to the hardy backing.

Finally, she taught me to be proud—

to tuck in raw edges and bind the whole with boldness.

This is what I learned from my mother

when she taught me to quilt.

Everyone leaves a legacy....and I think quilters have the privilege of leaving one that will transcend generations.  We learn life lessons from quilting (as noted above) and we share that love (and those lessons) with others.  Aren't we fortunate?

I hope you have been sharing your life lessons and legacies with those you love!



Bunny said...

What a wonderful story, reminds me of my dear sweet quilting friend that I lost in 2010. Love that poem. Thanks for sharing.

Aunt Marti said...

The caskets at both of my parents' funerals were draped with quilts I had made for them. I just think that is a nice touch.

jjthor said...

Love the poem. I;m sure the quilts will always give them wonderful memories its a lovely way to remember her by.

Nicole said...

That is a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing.

Snowcatcher said...

What a beautiful story you have woven. Thank you.

I believe the original author may be Shutta Crum, and the poem was written for her mother and appears here.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story.

Podunkpretties said...

Wonderful story, I see a lot of quilts given at funerals instead of flowers.

Rhonda R. said...

What a beautiful celebration of a quilter's life to see quilts hung at her funeral. Your block from Be Attitudes is so cute.

Chris said...

Lovely comments to a fellow quilter. I think honoring her passion and talent in such a way is beautiful.

Bonnie said...

Yes, what a wonderful positive experience for a mourner to be surrounded by the quilts. Darn if you haven't got me tearing up like crazy. Thanks for sharing.

Liv said...

That is a wonderful story and the poem is so moving! I am proud to be a quilter

Rhonda said...

This is a great post and tribute to both ladies. Well done!!

Paula, the quilter said...

Thank you for posting these beautiful stories of some beautiful women.

Penny said...

Everyone has said it for me. Thank you for sharing.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Such an uplifting post for a sad circumstance. I am going to put directions aside for quilts at mine (hopefully MANY years from now).

Connie said...

What a beautiful poem, perfect for a quilter! Thanks for sharing.
Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

Anonymous said...

Very touching! Thank you for sharing.

The Busy Bee's said...

Thank you so much for sharing! We appreciate you joining The Busy Bee's (Thursday party) Thanks so much for making our party more interesting! We appreciate you!
Joye & Myrna
The Busy Bee's

Emily Thompson said...

lovely! Thanks so much for taking the time to link up to the Tasteful Tuesday party @Nap-TimeCreations.com. Make sure to follow my blog via bloglovin, GFC or facebook so you don't miss out on my features posts... it could be YOU :o)

Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick said...

Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

Kathy Shea Mormino

The Chicken Chick


Quiltingranny said...

Came to visit via Sew Many Ways and loved the poem and you are so right about legacies. My grands laugh and say I put so much love in my quilts they just keep growing. Truth is the quilts they have are 8-10 years old and made small but they still haven't outgrown them in length! Blessed!

BeColorful said...

What an appropriate way of being remembered. Thanks for sharing.