I found an old quilt at a flea market a couple of summers ago. It was buried beneath a stack of worn blankets and I almost missed it. I pulled it from the pile, inspecting its loose threads and torn fabrics. I wondered for a moment about the quilt’s history and about the person who made it and for whom it was made. Although there must have been years of memories worn into the fibers of the quilt, to me it was just a blanket, a good prop for my new photography business. The history of the quilt was lost to me, but it is in the warmest memories of someone, somewhere.
I have always had a thing for heirloom quilts. Aside from being an essential part of snuggles, lazy mornings, and cold nights, they have created a foundation of memories for those that have had them in their lives. Recently, my Nana passed three of her quilts on to me. Three blankets that tell different stories to many people, spanning several generations. At least one of them was made by my great Grandmother. As I unfolded the blankets, their smells brought back memories of her home in Iowa, and reminded me of the nights spent sleeping beneath them. I am eager to hear their histories, so that I can preserve the memories and details of each one, before passing them on to my children one day.
My daughter’s first memory of my Nana’s quilts will likely be from this winter day, snuggling with her mama and sipping from mugs full of hot chocolate. We watched the snow fall together with the blankets wrapped around us. My heart is full.