I’m not really one for making things for other people. On one hand, I want to cover all the people I love in beautiful, cozy, handmade things, as if my handwork will be a talisman against not just cold weather but maybe even whatever sadness life may have in store. On the other hand, I am rather aware that not everybody in my life has the same huge need for knitted, quilted, or otherwise stitched things as I have, and I am okay with that. But, I feel deeply that a warm, soft quilt, made by your mama, can be a hug in a lonely place. Even if you are a totally cool guy who isn’t even lonely, what are you kidding? Lonely? For his mom? Please!
My son grew up. It seems like it happened this morning.
In just a few weeks, he will graduate from high school, and then he will go away to become an Architect. My boy is a man now. I am so proud of him. He asked me to make him a quilt. Does it get any better than that?
I chose a mix cool grays, warm browns, and ochre yellows. I strictly avoided florals (we have agreed those are branches, right? Branches?) and big patterns. There is an obsequious fly-fishing print thrown in because it was brown. And manly. I did not ask for his input as I put the quilt together, because he would have said something like, “What? I don’t know. Whatever. Just not flowery.”
I made 30 nine patch blocks, and arranged them in six columns by five rows, separated by solid gray sashing with smaller, light gray squares at the intersections. I threw in one red square. I could not help myself. Some American quilt traditions hold that the red center of a quilt square represents the safety and warmth of the hearth at home. I feel like I have poured my heart into that little red square. You do what you can.
It is imperfectly hand-quilted, with great big stitches in #5 perle cotton, in a warm light gray. It took a few days. The quilting gave the solid back a nifty graphic effect, kind of minimalist and modern.
It’s as infused with love and comfort as I can make it. I hope he ruins it totally while he’s away. I hope he wears it right out, right to shreds. That would make me so happy.