Vintage Store-Bought Trip Around the World Quilt
This is my first quilt. I didn't make it, I bought it at the mall. There's millions of them around. I had started a rail fence quilt back in college, but bogged down with work, school, life and otherwise, I packed it in a box and stuffed in the attic. That was in 1991.
That summer I graduated from college and moved to a new town to start my first job. I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 1/2 years, who had left me for another woman. I desperately needed to find a way to make my new, sterile, cookie-cutter, 1980's construction apartment feel like home. The next time I was shopping, I saw the quilt.
The yellow, pink and blue patchwork of this particular quilt, which I later learned to be called "Trip Around the World" called to me with the the warm glow of a Midwestern summer evening. The buzz of the fluorescent lights suddenly sounded like fireflies. I was still reeling from all the dramatic changes in my lifestyle, still hurting from embarking on this new journey alone, but somehow the quilt reminded me that somewhere out there was a country garden and a white farmhouse that had all the heart and home I needed, and I would find it someday.
The quilt has come on a long journey with me in the intervening 15 years. In the mid-90's I went a little off the rails after a broken engagement, gave away all my things and moved into a tiny apartment to live with monastic sterility. Several weeks later, the quilt called to me from the linen closet where I had pushed it to the back, not wanting to be reminded of gentler things. But it worked its magic on me. I realized it was time to rejoin the real world, and I went out and bought a bed, a real bed.
The quilt was with me through the rise of my career, the glory days of the dot com ride and the lean times after the dot com crash. It was there to console me after the end of a very long relationship and to celebrate the beginning of a new one. It was there to warm my new marriage and cradle the birth of my son, and to give me serenity on days when I didn't think there was any way to all the things that need doing.
It's here with me now, hanging in my living room. I won't leave it there long, it's worn now and coming apart at the seams. But for this particular New Year, it's a gentle, country reminder of all that is important. Family. Heart. Open spaces. Craftsmanship. Community. Flowers. Love. Peace. The last year, 2006, has been a difficult year with many challenges. But 2007 stretches before us with promise and hope, heralded by my humble, manufactured quilt.
From my family to yours, I hope you have a lovely holiday season and a Happy New Year!!
Update: I decided to make a quilt inspired by this poor, tattered thing! You can watch the progress of that: Trip-Around-the-World Reproduction Quilt.