Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Some History

I've decided to give some history and show how I came to fall in love with patchwork to begin with.

When I was in college, probably in my jr. year, there must have been a school bazaar or something (I don't even remember what it was) and when I walked into the main room there was this lovely quilt hanging there. I admired it even though I had never done any quilting or patchwork or even had an interest before. While I stood there looking at the quilt some lady came over and asked if I wanted to buy a raffle ticket since the quilt was being raffled over a year long period as a fund raising event for the college. Ok, why not. It was only one dollar for a ticket so I paid and filled out the little ticket. I remember asking when the raffle ticket would be drawn and on hearing that it would be sometime in December (I don't remember what the date of this bazaar was) I said I wouldn't be around on that date, that I would be on Christmas break and back home in California. The lady assured me that if I put my home phone number on my ticket, that they would call me if I won.

I completely forgot about the whole thing until one night back in California when I got a phone call telling me I'd won the quilt! I know I was very excited but I don't remember if they sent the quilt to California or if I just picked it up when I returned to school in January. At any rate I fell in love with my quilt! It is quite large and probably could fit on a double bed since it drags on the floor when I've had it on a single bed. (Remember, I live in Japan and haven't slept in a bed for years). The colors are basically red, white and blue because the year was 1976, the Bicentennial year. That means I've had this quilt for 30 years! Though it isn't particularly finely quilted, the pattern is very nice and stands out in a lovely blue. It was made by the college Mothers club (that's what the "label" says) and I honestly don't remember if I ever thanked anyone for this treasure. Probably not. I was a self-centered college girl and I'm ashamed to say I wasn't big on thank you notes. I probably just took my quilt, bragged to my friends, showed it off in my dorm and never said a word of gratitude to the women who put long hours into making it. I'm sure those ladies have no idea what a difference their quilt made in my life!

For the next year and a half the quilt graced my dorm rooms and without a care in the world I spilled coffee on it, let it get stained by ink pens, must have dropped pizza and ketchup on it. It is stained here and there. I really did love it though and of course it came with me when I came to Japan and was either folded in a corner or in a closet. No bed remember.

After I got married and was no longer working, I looked at my quilt and decided I wanted to try to make something similar and with book in hand (Japanese book so I really had no idea what it said) I bought cheap fabric at a mom and pop store and put together a couple baby quilts for friends. What horrors they were! Amongst other things, I had no idea there was such a thing as batting and instead bought cushion filling and tried pulling it apart evenly and then quilting it into place. A horrid lumpy thing (I bet I have a picture of that somewhere that I could scan...) with very odd colors.

When Takumi was born (he's 21 now) I took a real patchwork class for 6 months and made bags, baby quilts and even a large sampler quilt, but it wasn't until he started kindergarten that I suggested to a couple of friends that we make a bed sized quilt and raffle it at the kindergarten bazaar as a fund raiser. History comes back to us. The first effort was again horrid and we didn't do it again for another three years I think. Since then, we've made and raffled 11 quilts, 11 years of love and work and pride and friendship. My college quilt has influenced my life more than anyone ever would have thought! Thank you so much Lewis and Clark Mothers Club!

1 comment:

Holly said...

I love this quilt you won in a raffle. It's fun to hear about people's quilting beginnings. I also think your prayer quilts are a wonderful idea. I haven't heard of that ministry before but think it's wonderful.