A Crafter's Life

Love Wears it Out (Repost)

Yesterday, during the weekly Spousal Loss Grief Support Group I attend, the book The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams was mentioned. 

This made me think of a post I wrote in 2013 answering the question: “How do you know a quilt has been loved?” in which I quote this beautiful book.

Thought I would repost this post today.


How do you know a quilt has been loved?

It is worn, frayed, maybe even threadbare.

In my early days of quilting this would make me cringe. I put all that work into a quilt and now it is all worn out?

Now the thought of one my quilts being so loved (just think of that glorious book The Velveteen Rabbit) brings a huge smile to my face.

While talking to my sister (she has many quilts from me) she mentioned that most of the quilts I have made her are very worn out, some are just “hanging on by thread” about to fall apart.

I take quilt construction seriously and for a second I thought “wow shoddy workmanship on my part” and “why did they not take better care of the quilts”? I came to my senses several seconds later and realized: Wow! Those quilts have been truly loved – I am so lucky and so honored!

I think of what my first quilting mentor and dear friend, Judy D, once told me:

“If a quilt is falling apart, all worn out, then it has been truly loved…I never mind repairing a quilt that has been loved”.

Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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image credit: amazon.com

“Real isn’t how you are made, it’s a thing that happens to you… When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes…When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up..or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once..You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Thank you to all the people I have made quilts for over the years, who have truly loved them, and made them REAL.


Postscript

Re-posting this post also made me think of an art quilt I finished in April 2018 titled Recycled Denim Story V: Recycled Love (2018)This piece is part of my Recycled Denim Story Series of art quilts (see my page Art Quilt Stories for more of the series).

Recycled Love (see post The Recycled Lovehonors all the love that goes into making and giving a quilt to someone.

hogan_recycled-love

Here is the Artist Statement that explains the story behind this quilt made from all recycled materials:

The first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a system cannot be created nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another. A quilt is made from changing the existing “love energy” from the quilt maker’s heart into a pieced textile; ultimately recycling that love energy into the quilt’s recipient heart.

Quilt are Love!


Feature Photo by Alex Block on Unsplash

 

19 thoughts on “Love Wears it Out (Repost)”

  1. Love the Velveteen rabbit and the analogy you used in understanding how do you know when something is truly loved. It is so true. Still as adults we can be attached to a certain blanket or stuffed animal and love it to shreds!!

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  2. Youngest son loved his old cot blanket till it was finally reduced to a disgusting piece of ribbon and a few threads of yarn. Then he agreed to throw it out. He was by then in his early teens…ssh

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  3. Thanks for this sweet reflection via the Velveteen Rabbit – I had forgotten about how wonderful that story is, and how much truth it holds for the things we make. Having gifted some blankets over the past year, I would love to see them a little ruffled up + worn around the edges. You’re so right – it’s a sign our work is loved!

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    1. You are most welcome and thanks for reading! Yes when quilts really get worn out then it is time to pass them onto our furry friends. I once had a sweet friend tell me the quilt I made them was super worn out and asked me if they could give it to their dog now to love – I said of course 🙂

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  4. The story, the love, the creation, the comfort, the love, the beauty, the care, the love…..quilts say all of this. Growing up our Grandmama made a family quilt for us. It was warmer than anything we had or so we thought. If we felt bad we wanted the quilt, if someone broke our heart we wanted the quilt, if we missed someone we wanted the quilt. It wasn’t until I started piecing quilt tops that I put it all together. The quilt wasn’t warmer, it was Grandmama’s arms wrapped around us in love. Thank you so much for reminding me! ❤️

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    1. Tana – thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, it made me smile! I love that you had a special quilt growing up and how it provided so much comfort! I am so glad you became a quilter and were able to then share such fabric love!

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  5. That’s a beautiful blog post. At first I too may have thought the owner of a quilt might not have taken enough care of the quilt, however if it’s worn it has indeed been well loved.

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