Finding the old pictures of the first quilt I made the other day reminded me of this "unofficial" first quilt that has been years and years in the making. It began as a treasured gift from an elderly woman named Bernice who would have my dad do jobs around her house and yard. It was a Holly Hobby sleeping bag.
I loved that sleeping bag. It was a tragic day when it got its first rip. We were playing in the yard and had it thrown over the end of the clothes line to make a tent. When I pulled on it to get it down, I heard the rip. The rip was shaped like an L so I took some fabric from my mom's leftover stash and hand stitched it over the rip.
From that time on, whenever there was a tear or a worn out spot, I would patch it. It became my "sick day" activity to sew patches on my quilt. My aunt Jo had a patched up blanket when she was a teenager that I thought was so cool. I think
it was her blanket that inspired me to keep patching my own.
At one point the zipper broke so I took it off and hemmed up the edges with strips of fabric. After some time I realized that this blanket told a story since most patches were leftover from some piece of clothing or fabric of interest in my life. Whether it was the stretch panel from Mom's double knit pair of maternity pants, my favorite pair of blue jeans, or the bottom of my boyfriend's (now husband's) many pairs of dress pants that I have hemmed for him through the years; there are patches that represent the many eras of my life.
These days I save swatches from Easter dresses I made for the girls or from worn out clothes that all three of my boys have worn that make me smile. There are 4 or 5 layers in some areas of this blanket and it is the warmest thing I have ever slept under. I love sharing the stories behind the patches with the people I love.