Over the years my husband has learned that when I’m working on a quilt, he shouldn’t ask what or who it is for. Sometimes he knows what I am up to, because I’ve been yackety yacking in his ear while he is trying to watch golf or football or “Deadliest Catch” on TV. “I’m starting on that flannel receiving blanket for so and so . . . or . . . I’m making a new movie watching quilt for the family room,” I might say. He’ll reply with a nice comment, one eye on the TV, one eye (briefly) on me. It’s a nice system. We both like it.
This system works particularly well when I am making a quilt just because I want to make it, just for me, without a reason or a purpose. I get super absorbed, even obsessed, by those quilts I am making just because the pattern is beautiful, or the kit was irresistible or I’ve been waiting for the fabric to come in for months. I know the quilt will find a home eventually, so I don’t really need a reason. Occasionally I feel “wallet guilt” for buying fabric and making something “just because,” but I am able to push that from my mind pretty easily. He doesn’t ask. I don’t tell. I just keep sewing.
Once, about a year ago, our system saw a little glitch. I had just received my \”Canned Pears\” quilt back from the quilter. This was a kit I had purchased on the Fig Tree & Companywebsite. Made up of beautiful Fig Tree fabrics in the softest tones, all those sweet pears surrounded by a darling checkerboard border just made me happy! And the free motion quilting by Nancy Jolene Quilting was stunning. I couldn’t wait to start on the butterscotch colored binding. I absolutely loved this quilt . . . and then I showed it to my husband.
He nodded and agreed that it was very pretty, and then he asked the question, “What is it for?” I was surprised and stumped. We’d been married nearly 25 years. I seriously thought he knew better than to ask that question! All I could think to say was, “I’m not sure.” He raised one eyebrow at me (the other eye was likely on the TV) as if to say, “Well, what was the point of that then?” And somewhere in the depths of my first born, bossy, Type-A personality I snapped out this response: “It’s kind of like when you spend an entire weekend \’catch and release\’ fishing and don’t come home with any supper for the table.” He just grinned. Touché. System back in line.
After I finished the binding, I carried the quilt from room to room in my house and determined it really needed to be in my kitchen (makes sense—pears—kitchen—no big leap there). Of course, I don’t have the wall space in my kitchen for a quilt of that size, and so began the online search for a tall, old wooden painting ladder. Mission accomplished thanks to an area online garage sale. And then naturally, the ladder was a bit too paint spattered for my liking. Since I was also obsessed with chalk painting at the time, the messy ladder received a nice coat of nest-colored paint and wax. But then there was the problem of the burgundy walls in my kitchen, which really clashed with the just because “Canned Pears” quilt, so the kitchen walls received a fresh coat of neutral paint as well.
I like to think that somewhere in my subconscious I knew all along the answer to my husband’s question, “What is it for?” Turns out it was just for me, just because I love it, and just because my kitchen needed some serious perking up.
Not long after that, it seemed to me that the just because \”Canned Pears\” quilt needed some company in the kitchen, so sewing up a Fig Tree “Mini Cherry Pie” quilt was also in order. My dear husband didn’t ask what that quilt was for.