Saturday, August 16, 2014

Behold, the Beloved Minky Quilt! "Because It Is Fluffy and It Has Memories"

The Zombie Quilt

Have you ever had the opportunity to see one of your quilts after it has been loved literally to death?  Have you ever given a baby quilt to a newborn and then, years later, been astounded to see a six-year-old child dragging around the rotting, dingy, appalling remains of your handiwork, fiercely insisting that it is the best and only quilt for her "because it is fluffy and it has memories?" The zombie quilt pictured above (it is a zombie because it is clearly dead, yet it still walks around scaring people) was made for my niece when she was born in 2008.  Her name is Princess Petunia, but her parents insist on calling her Sarah...  When I gave the quilt to the newborn princess, it looked like this:

Newly Made Baby Quilt, in 2008

This is the first baby quilt I ever made with Minky backing, and it's the only quilt I ever tied instead of quilting.  I gathered a wide satin ribbon with the ruffler foot on my sewing machine and then sewed it into the edge seam of the quilt.  Soft cotton fabrics on the top of the quilt with little nubby embroidery floss knots, silky satin ribbon along the edges, and snuggly Minky backing on the reverse.  This quilt went together fairly quickly, and somewhat halfheartedly, since my sister had been telling everyone how much she hated pink and I knew there was a good chance this quilt would get shoved into a dark closet and never see the light of day.  My sister's family lives far away and I don't get to see them often, so I wasn't able to watch the gradual decline and disintegration of this quilt over the years.  I'm told that the Princess calls it her "covers" and demands its presence at every nap and at bed time, wears it as a cape, and drags it around after her, Linus-style.

I last saw the pink Minky quilt about a year ago.  It was in pretty bad shape then, so I made Petunia a new, Big Girl quilt with Dresden plates, Minky backing, and satin binding edges to take its place:
Replacement Quilt Made in 2013, Deemed Unworthy by the Princess

A lot more work went into the Dresden plate quilt.  No dice.  My sister tells me that the Dresden plate quilt is only used when the raggedy used-to-be-pink quilt is in the laundry.  It's only the Understudy Quilt.  Ah, well -- I tried!

You might think it would be depressing to see one of your quilts in shreds, with gaping holes where some of the patches have disintegrated and the batting is falling out, but I think this is the best possible fate for a baby quilt.  It may look gross, but as the Princess says, it's still fluffy and it has memories!

Memories, indeed.  Here's a parting shot of the zombie quilt, wrapped around Princess Petunia as Anders was opening his birthday presents:

Lars, Anders, Princess Petunia with Zombie Quilt, and James

Happy 11th birthday, Anders!  And the Zombie Quilt lives on...


Barbara Sindlinger said...

That's what I tell the people that I give quilts to, that they are meant to be used, washed and loved. If it falls apart, I can always make them another. What a great story.

P11otter said...

A beautiful story! That's how a quilt will come to his end. The new quilt is beautiful and maybe she will love him to over a couple of jears.

Anonymous said...

What a gift to be able to see the gift of a quilt's history and that it was so loved! I believe that many of my own quilts given as gifts that have been saved because it is "too nice to use". I, too, have tried to explain that the quilts are to be used and washed and loved... that is the greatest thank you I could receive.

LOVE your blog, btw... keep up he great work!

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Adorable story! Princess Petunia is one lucky gal. It must make you feel good to see that well loved quilt.

Mary Jo said...

My sister and I made a quilt for our now 24 year old niece who is now new mother. Her quilt was rags before she finally decided that it needed to be retired. We have made her several quilts since, but she still has the scraps of what was her first quilt that she says she will alway keep as a memory of her favorite quilt.

colleen said...

My 4 year old granddaughter has a quilt that was given to her at birth (store bought) that I have patched and mended so many times but its her 'beep beep' or she also calls it her ouwy blanket because the label is rough so ouwy
She and I bought yarn so I can knit her a new blanket.... her 4 year old mind has decided since it has the same colors plus one this knitted blanket will be a 'twin' so she can be sure not to lose her blanket. I am a newish knitter but I am sure she will not mind tension or any other mistakes. I really can't wait for her to see the finished knitted blanket and say Grammy its not right in her cute words