Months ago one of my Secret Society of Barn Builders friends, Glen who blogs over at Quilts and Dogs, found herself victim to Louisiana flooding and lost practically everything she owned. My heart was broken for her. I couldn't imagine watching dirty floodwaters destroy my home, but she did. She watched it, she lived it, mourned it. And then she triumphed over it; brave, strong and determined.
Being so far away meant there was little I could offer in terms of help or support so I rallied our SSOBB friends and together we set out to send her our love. Quilters don't necessarily need more quilts but this one definitely needed a hug. Blocks came from far and wide to make the quilt that would wrap her in our support. I stitched them together in the middle of a power outage with a little lamp and my old Kenmore plugged into a tiny generator...it gave me pause to think of my small inconvenience compared to the problems our friend was facing...you know, count your blessings, right? The Robot made short work of the quilting and soon it was ready to go.
Glen had plans made to visit Nova Scotia in September but the flood ruined that too. On learning that she had canceled her East Coast excursion it seemed to me that a piece of Nova Scotia tartan needed to be included in the binding, and i just happened to have a piece if it in my stash. When I set out to take pictures of her quilt to share with the SSOBB gang I thought that they should showcase a bit of Nova Scotia's oceanside charm as well...and Sister PurpleBoots has just the spot for such a photo shoot!
During the time I was trying to get the SSOBB's hug finished and sent out to Glen my own world had turned upside down. I ended the 27 year relationship with Mr. PurpleBoots at about the same time and had difficulty focusing on quilty things and The Robot offered little in terms of therapy. Jack helped some, but some things just have to be processed at face value...raw, real and messy.
It was during this time that I received a box in the mail from New Hampshire. My friend and quilty mentor, Lynne from The Patchery Menagerie, had lovingly sent me my very own hug. It came at just the right time...warm, cozy and colourful. Her quilt brought tears of joy and has since absorbed the weight of many more tears, some not quite so joyful, because she made me promise to use it...thick or thin. And I have!
As quilters we know some people refuse to use the quilts we share because they think they are "too nice" and "don't want to mess them up". While this may well be a thoughtful mindset and it certainly shows the recipients care I think quilts are best used, abused and lived with. Quilts should accompany you on your journey at arms length, always at the ready when you need them. A quilt in the closet can offer little comfort on a day when you need a hug.