Giving Quilts

I make quilts.  I think we can all attest to that fact yes?  And I seem to make quite a few.  Up until recently, I tended to have a decent pile of quilts that were just waiting to be allocated a home, basically because a lot of quilts I make with no other intention other than I want to make it!  Don’t get me wrong – there are quilts in my WIP pile that have a definite purpose.  For example, my Steam Punk and Splice quilts for my sons as well as a couple I’ve earmarked for our own lounge room.  But the majority?  They’re “waiters”……

I worked out a few weeks ago that in the past year, I have given away ten quilts!  Ten.  Six of those were 40th gifts, one 70th gift, a teacher’s gift, a charity donation and the other two?  Well, they have been gifted to friends/family battling cancer.  My Wavelength quilt was lovingly wrapped up, after sitting for over a year in the corner, and given to a friend I am not very close with these days, but whom was very dear to me back in the nineties.  When I saw her a few weeks after she received it (I gave it to her husband at the local footy game) her response was so utterly beautiful and it meant so much to her, that I finally, truly understood the power of a quilt…..

So when my ex-husband called me a few weeks ago to tell me his Mum had stage four cancer, after being in remission for 18 months, I was shell-shocked – but resolved to get a quilt to her ASAP.  This resolve was a little problematic, in that I had none left in my pile!  My Mum came to the rescue after I asked her if she happened to have a quilt top I could use to get a quick finish?  Silly question really – most quilters have some finished quilt tops neatly folded somewhere!  I picked up said quilt top on Tuesday, and had it finished yesterday.  Lucky for us, we got a little sunshine to take a few quick photos before the rain started again…..


My Mum has been quilting for many, many years.  This quilt top, using Ruby by Bonnie & Camille, is literally delightful!  It has a gorgeous little “peep” border around the central rectangle, and then a border of fabric from a different designer, which blends beautifully.


I made a quick trip to the local quilting store and was more than happy to find a Marmalade print on the shelf that would work for the binding.  The pink floral, with that little touch of green was perfect.


My quilt helper…… the wind kept picking up the edges of the quilt – lucky I had her on site 😉


When Mum gave me the top, I thought “gees, this is small”, but then I remembered how little my MIL is!  And the great thing about its size is that I was able to free motion quilt it without aggravating my shoulder.  I got the idea for the quilting pattern when I saw my friend Leanne’s recent Charm-along finish and loved her quilting, so thought I’d give it a crack.  The big loops and paths were beautiful to quilt.  I used the Aurifil #2805 blue that came in the June #aussieaurifilclub bundle.  It certainly blends beautifully with B&C fabrics!


I folded and wrapped this little beauty up this morning and took my eldest son to visit his Nan in hospital.  She was thrilled.  Which, in turn, thrilled me.  I’m not embarrassed to tell you that there were tears shed whilst basting the quilt.  Nobody was home and I had time to just think whilst working away, and I was able to reflect on the years I spent having her as my Mother-in-law, and how as a 21 year old bride and 23 year old new Mother, I didn’t fully appreciate all that she brought to my life.  She is your typical over-the-top, bubbly and exuberant Maltese Mum/Nanna – who would see it as her biggest achievement to fill your tummy!  And to this very day, dotes on her grandson, who now towers over her but still thinks she’s the best thing since sliced bread.  I am grateful that even though her son and I ended our marriage some fifteen years ago, she has still welcomed me in to her home and treated me with kindness.  I’m hoping this little gesture from my Mum and I can in some way bring a little cheer to the crappy situation she is in.

So, why am I telling you all this?  Well, I’m hoping I can give you a gentle little push to give away your quilts.  Not ALL of them, just some.  Think of someone you know who could do with cheering up.  Think of the time they could spend under a quilt, whether it be wrapped up by themselves, or cuddling with their loved ones.  Think of how much joy you can create when you present something you have spent so much time toiling over, and the love you have poured in to it.  And send all of that joy to someone else.  I guarantee you will come away from doing so with the most amazing gift yourself.  xxx


20 Responses to Giving Quilts

  1. Dawn says:

    Well said and gestured Ms M, all my WIPS without intention are going to charity. Nothing beats that warm all over feeling of gifting.

  2. Izzy says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I give most of my quilts away simply because I know how powerful a gift they can be. I recently gave my SIL’s mother a lap quilt because she was diagnosed with breast cancer and I wanted her to be wrapped in something that was made with love and strength and hope. She was so grateful and takes the quilt with her to all her chemo treatments. It reminds her that she’s loved and has lots to fight for.

  3. Jen says:

    So sorry to hear about your MIL and the terrible health she now finds herself in. Cancer Sucks! Your quilty gesture is very beautiful and I’m sure she will treasure the quilt and the love behind it. Good on you Melissa!

  4. Serena @ Sewgiving says:

    That’s exactly where my blog name came from – you really do get the best gift yourself when you hand a quilt over to it’s new owner 🙂 Much love to your MIL xx

  5. barbara woods says:

    i give 90 % of mine to family and maybe 10 % to people i know who are sick. I have a very large family so i am nearly finished with them one each but they keep adding on great grands

  6. Most of my quilts are working quilts for my pattern business or for teaching so giving away quilts doesn’t happen very often. I made a quilt for my boss’s daughter who had just had a baby and I received a lovely thank you note… even though she called it a blanket but I’ll forgive her that sin. You are right it does feel good.

  7. LaurelleC says:

    You are so lovely. I agree giving away quilts is the best!

  8. Michele says:

    This is just wonderful and I’m so glad to read that you and she are still friends. I’m sure she treasures it.

  9. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough…I’ve only made 2 quilts, but I think I’ll give it a go!

  10. Lisa C in Dallas says:

    I, too, make quilts and put them aside for some day. After all, how many quilts can I use in Texas?! Anyway, it’s always surprising to me who my inner voice says needs a quilt – it’s always when I least expect it and it’s generally to someone that while I know they appreciate it, they aren’t always in my inner circle – if that makes sense. Great finish!

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