Saturday, January 18, 2014

Comfort Quilts

We care most about the people closest to us. We can only do so much to make a difference and so usually do what we can for those folks close.

I remember being in grade school when the 'nunnies' gave us these cans with lids to save our coins in, so we could give what we saved and adopt a starving pagan baby, saving it from the jaws of hell. (They were always babies of color from China, Africa or South America.) We spent time decorating the cans and heard the rattle in them of all the coins we found on the ground, behind the couch and from a meager allowances we got at the time. 

I loved the thought of having a pagan baby in my family, and had these wild imaginings of how my Mother would react to someone from a far-away land at her breakfast table. I tried saving as much money as I could believing that it would buy some cutie to bring home. 

Eventually, the PR jocks removed the word 'pagan' from the marketing, and still lead us to believe those kids come from some poverty-stricken place elsewhere.

Poverty exists in every home and sector of our country too. Poverty of body and of soul. I see this kind of poverty everywhere and know how easily it can enter my own home and family.

I never forgot those long months of saving up to change some wild pagan baby's life. It might have been one of the most memorable times of my elementary education.

Some months ago, I joined the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters guild in order to participate in the comfort quilt meetings. 

I've finished the first quilt for them, and am taking it to the meeting early Monday morning.

These quilts stay local which means they are given to people in Kern County where I live. 

The group adopted one easy pattern and size, and quilters are free to select colors and fabrics to make. 

The binding is not on this yet because the group machine sews them on, and up to now, I have been hand stitching mine. 

I've decided to make comfort quilts for boys and men. This one has a baseball theme and is backed in that lovely brown and navy flannel. Its machine quilted with diagonal lines that form a simple grid. Its not as big as the ones I usually make, however it will make a nice quilt to over one's lap.

Most materials and supplies are donated, and the TMQ guild has a budget to purchase whatever else is needed. Members donate their time and artistry. We meet once a month, have a potluck lunch, and one of the seasoned members often holds a simple quilting class. 

I don't care who gets the quilts I make are pagan or from one of the 5 major religions. I care that I put in the love and devotion I have for all of humanity and that perhaps they feel it, receive it and take comfort.