I just got home from giving a Trunk Show and lecture last night. At the end of the lecture/talk I shared a couple of quilts that have the most personal meaning to me – like my Union Jack Quilt and my Gratitude Quilt. And it got me thinking, I really need to make more quilts that have meaning to record some of our family story. I have other quilts with meaning that I’ve given away – like my Irish flags quilt and other flag quilts for friends – but I need to do more for my own family.
Amy Gibson has recently written a book called For Keeps: Meaningful Patchwork for Everyday Living with this very purpose in mind: creating quilts that have meaning. But that doesn’t mean they all need to be put away in a ‘safe place’ where no on touches them. She encourages us to make quilts that are used – that in Amy’s words, “soak up meaning through our times together, that become heirlooms… because of the stories they tell and the stories they inspire.” I love that!
The book is full of beautiful photos and projects to inspire you to think about as well as create quilts with meaning.
There’s even a quilt made from scanned favorite photos called Filmstrip with instructions for multiple ways to put your favorite photos onto fabric for this project. I’ve had people ask me in the past about photograph quilts and haven’t really known how to help because I’ve never made one myself. So great to have a resource to share now!
For Keeps also has an extensive 25-page section with lots of quilt-making basics. Everything from tools, to choosing a sewing machine, cutting and piecing, sashing and borders, quilting and finishing a quilt. So if you’re looking for a book to give to a beginner, this one is a great resource.
Finally, this book is just inspiring. Not only the gorgeous photographs and projects through out, but Amy (pictured above in the book with her cute twins) also has a way with words. I met Amy a few years ago at the Sewing Summit and was struck then by what a happy and genuine person she is. That personality comes through throughout the book – reading Amy’s voice as she talks about choosing fabric or what inspires her own quilts makes you feel like you’re with an encouraging friend.
Reading For Keeps has motivated me to make more quilts with meaning to my family. So many of my projects recently have been for deadlines or patterns. I want to just slow down and interject more projects that mean something to all of us.
For example, I’ve been
hoarding collecting London/British-themed prints for years now, waiting for just the right time to do something with them. I’ve decided that time is now. My family is all reminiscing a lot more about our English adventure last summer now that we’re approaching the 1-yr anniversary of the experience. I know I need to stop waiting and just start cutting into these prints to make something we can all love and use to remind us of that experience together.
Amy has issued a call out to quilters to take the pledge to make more quilts with meaning. I am taking that pledge!
You can read more about what it means to make quilts for keeps on the Quilt For Keeps website where Amy is also sharing a free pattern download for those who take the pledge. Quilters can also send in blocks using this pattern to be used for charity quilts for trauma victims. Another great way to Quilt For Keeps!