I come from a family of quilters. My mother, sister, grandmother, and aunts made masterpieces out of scraps. They ripped up old clothes, cut them into patterns, and never wasted any material.
I watched them quilt and was fascinated by the fabulous designs, but never “took a hankering” to this long, tedious task. It took months to stitch a quilt. I couldn’t sit still long enough for such work.
When I attended Hayesville High School, I got the idea to make a Butterfly quilt. Springtime was just around the corner and I wanted to herald the season with a patchwork quilt. Mama warned me it would take a lot of work, but I assured her I would complete the job in record time. After several attempts to thread the needle and sticking my fingers, I questioned the labor involved with sewing. My back ached, my eyes bugged out, and I felt imprisoned by those scraps of cloth. Why spend hours quilting when you could just march into Mrs. Eva Crawford’s dime store and buy a blanket?
An exchange student from Germany told me she couldn’t understand why Americans cut up cloth, then sewed it back together. Why didn’t we just leave the cloth as one piece and stitch that for a quilt? I agreed that would make a lot more sense and take less time.
So as the months dragged on, I got sick of that Butterfly quilt. It was such a tiring job. I wanted to get rid of that burden. I wanted to go outside, play with my dog, smell the jonquils, and enjoy spring. When Mama got busy weeding her garden, I stashed the cloth under the couch. She wondered what happened to my quilt, but I just shook my head.
Well, time rocked on and thankfully I forgot that quilting project. One day I got home from school and Mama pointed to my bedroom. There lay on my bed the most beautiful, bright Butterfly quilt I had ever seen. Springtime had invaded my bedroom because my mama had finished the quilt for me.