My Quilts Have Feet

A young Mr. Snarky helps mom document her handiwork--an Amish-style baby quilt for a childhood friend.

No, they don’t walk, but sometimes they do sprout feet. In this case, blue-violet high tops.

That photo makes me smile because it takes me back to a time when I faithfully documented each quilt after finishing it. I’d get the film roll printed, pick the best shots (difficult sometimes), and then store the labeled photographs in a dedicated album.

Just as the photos tell my quilting story, they also shed light on my everyday world at a time when, as a new mother, my escapes had geographic and temporal limits. Quilt making became my refuge from the excessive testosterone in my family of men, of the two- and four-legged variety.

Baby Snarky playing on mom's first quilting effort--check out the Hoffman dinosaur print!

I actually rediscovered the sewing arts and the wonderful world of printed- cotton fabrics with the birth of my first child. Hello motherhood and Hoffman Fabrics! Does anyone remember this early design of dinosaurs in a white or cobalt blue field?

Now when I look back at more than twenty years of quilting, it’s the feet peeking from below the bottom edges of my quilts that catch my eye because my boys were my portable, pose-able quilt holders. Mr. Snarky (my eldest) can figure out who is holding each quilt by the make of the shoe or the reveal of a fragment of pant leg. What is it about guys? They have the weirdest selective memory—of course, not for your requests like taking out the trash or emptying the dishwasher.

This would be young Mr. Bunny, not the aforementioned Mr. Snarky, identified by his choice of shoe and athletic gear brands.

So, what’s the lesson here? Print those danged pictures from the digital camera and celebrate your beautiful handiwork! Each represents a piece of your heart and is wonderful, wonderful to re-experience years later—if you’ve documented your work, of course! Sure there’ll be a project or three to make you gag or laugh, but that’s what keeps us humble and eager to perfect our skills.

Uh-oh . . . looks like the last time I slid a photo into the album was 2004—time to follow my own advice and liberate quilt images from computer storage!

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5 Responses to My Quilts Have Feet

  1. Cyndy says:

    Awww…So many good memories of quilting when the kids werre little. Thanks for conjuring up all those delightful moments.
    And greetings from the Lake District! Raining, of course, but so beautiful.

  2. Andrea says:

    I’m hoping there’ll be a follow-up “My Quilts Have Heads.”

    • Jennifer says:

      Very funny, Andrea! I actually do have images with tousled hair and laughing eyes peeking above the tops of quilts. OMG: fodder for a future post!

  3. elaine says:

    you are so right! we do need to make a journal of our artistic work, because most of us are making quilts for special friends, family, donations, and those with health issues. . . and we no longer own them. i just purchased a new book binding system (a zutter). i think i will make a journal of my quilts and who received them. thanks for the idea.
    elaine

    • Jennifer says:

      Hey Elaine,

      Thanks for the visit and the thoughtful comment. I absolutely agree and now I wonder if I should up my game as you suggest. I used to just jot down the recipient, date of completion, and location–why don’t I add the color commentary, so to speak, and make it more like the journal you describe? Very inspired!

      Jennifer

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