What A Quilt Can Do

Most people think a quilt is made as a utility item, usually to keep people warm. And that would be correct. in many cases. A quilt is very good at keeping people warm and cozy in bed. It has been doing that job well for centuries.

But I have seen quilts perform many other functions over the years as well. They are very versatile and multi-functional things.

For instance, a quilt can give a great big hug to a grandchild from a grandmother. Watch the child wrap the quilt around himself, close his eyes and spin around in the magic of grandma’s bear hug. It is mystical!

A quilt can say “thank you” to a veteran for his/her years of loyal service. I have seen grown men cry while humbly surrounded in the red, white and blue colors of their Quilt of Valor.

A small quilt given from a Police Officer can comfort a little child in a time of trauma. Nothing is more soothing than a soft cuddly quilt that can be squeezed and held tight while taken with the child on a tough journey.

A quilt, any quilt, can decorate a space. It can add color or design or a statement or whimsy to any room. Big or little, traditional or modern. two color or scrappy, every quilt has something to add to every domain in which it exists. It has a life – a reason to be.

A quilt can be an inspiration to others. It can encourage someone to try a color combination or a design or a new skill. Hanging in a Quilt Show, every quilt is a little beacon of light, begging to be copied or followed in some small way. Every quilt has something to give.

A quilt can teach – in fact, every quilt does. I learn something new from every quilt quilt I make, which makes me a better quilter. It may be something small or something really significant, but there’s always a lesson. A lot like life, right?

Every quilt is good practice for my skills. It keeps me honed and sharp. It’s like going to the gym or working out everyday – keeping the muscles in shape. Working on quilts keeps me in tip-top sewing shape.

Quilts bring joy. I would rather sew and quilt than almost anything else. Making them brings me joy. Seeing them brings me joy. Seeing other people’s quilts brings me joy. Knowing about brings me joy. Using them brings me joy.

Quilts make great gifts. They say “Happy Birthday”, “Happy Anniversary”, “Congratulations”, “Good Job” better than anything I know. Quilts practically jump out of the box on their own, they are so happy! They make people smile, laugh, cry and squeal.

For some, their quilt is their home, They live on it, sleep on it and eat on it. Their quilts are sturdy, well made, hard working items, meant to stand hardship and tough use. We make them at our church and send them mostly to India with lots of hope and prayers.

But the best thing EVERY quilt can do – convey love!!! All quilts are made with large doses of love sewn right into them, so they carry that love wherever they go. You can feel it the instant you touch it.

Whether you are a newborn baby or an elder on Hospice Care, the love is there for you. Whether the occasion is funny, intense, happy, sad or proud, the quilt brings just what is needed and just the right touch of care. Whether the recipient is a stranger or the closest loved one, the quilt is always appropriate and always gathered up in loving arms.

Quilts are meant to used and loved.

I know I love mine – and I believe they love me back.

A Day At The Fair

Want to spend a wonderful day with your grandchildren? Try taking them to your local fair. This is the time of year for State Fairs, Harvest Fairs, Autumn Fairs, you name it. A day at the fair is the thing to do.

Gramps and I recently spent the day at the Texas State Fair so I could show you all the fun you and your little ones could have.

First of all, we parked our car and took the DART train into Dallas. Don’t forget – HOW you get there is part of the fun! What child (or adult for that matter!) doesn’t love a train ride? We saw some interesting sights, like construction areas with cranes, bulldozers and dump trucks. That’s like finding treasure for little boys!. The train was elevated in spots, so we were “on top of the world.” We even went through a tunnel, making it about the most perfect train ride ever! All that fun and we hadn’t even gotten to the fair yet!

Arriving at the fairgrounds, we were met with colorful flags, water fountains and of course, Big Tex. He’s a fixture in Texas and he used to talk with a deep voice welcoming everyone in. Now he just greets fairgoers with his immense height, size 50 boots and 100 gallon hat. It is not required that you dress like Tex, as this gentleman has, but “dressing for the fair” is appropriate. You will be out in the sun and doing a lot of walking.

Exchanging money for coupons is the first order of business. You can’t do anything without your coupons. HINT: Keep a few coupons for souvenirs for that scrapbook page, along with the train tickets. Makes beautiful memories for all!

Now, on to food – fair food – bad fair food. Is there any other kind? No day at the fair can be enjoyed or remembered properly without good bad fair food. I have to say I used to think funnel cake was just about the baddest of fair food. But no more! Try fried butter, fried OREO, fried pizza, fried Snickers, fried______ (fill in the blank). And this, fried PBJ &B. What is that, you ask? A fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich, which for some strange reason, looked kind of tasty to me. Scary! The menu boards alone were a source of so much hilarity to me, I wanted pictures of them all! I was laughing. Kids were laughing. Even food servers were laughing. Where have I been, I wonder? Oh, that’s right – the fat free aisle!

After lunch, it was over to the car show for the boys (big and little). There was a spectacular truck with a special paint job in memory of 9-11-01. Those old enough to remember were somber and respectful. Those too young to know were quietly told the story and meaning of all the vignettes covering the truck. It was a special moment and a great time to share and reflect a pivotal happening in all of our lives. What a great way to memorialize and pass on to the next generations a day we can and should never forget!

Next, we visited the crafts, textiles and foods, which was basically quilts, canned foods, pies, cakes and oh yeah, the LIFE-SIZED BUTTER SCULPTURES! Really, could anything impress a child more than a life-size cow made out of butter? I don’t think so! Well . . . . . . . there was the shoe collection . . . . . . . pretty funny, huh? HINT: I was thinking this could be a great thing to do at home with the kids. Another Granny Camp activity! What fun! Just be sure you use “old” shoes.

And what fun would a fair be without animals? Be sure you get to the barnyard, petting zoo, pig races, dog show and any other show of your favorite animal. Kids and animals just naturally go together, that’s a fact!

Now, for the Midway. Games, rides, feats of strength and accuracy or just people watching. It’s all there. Families of every size, shape and hue can be found. So take the whole group – youngest to oldest – from stroller to wheelchair and make it a true family day. Go on the rides and win a stuffed animal. That’s what the fair is all about – having and sharing the fun!

Gramps and I took a spin on the ferris wheel, The Texas Star, another state icon. We shared the cabin with sweet Mia and her mother. Mia looked lovely with her face painted in “zebra” to match her shirt. I so love a girl who is color coordinated!

Depending on your endurance and how many children you have in tow, you can add attractions to your day.Stay late for the concert and the laserlight water show, shop the vendor stalls, get a massage, have your shoes shined (Yes, even your sneakers! Yes, even your kid’s sneakers!), walk through a house carved out of 1 Redwood log . . . . .  the list goes on.

But the day came to a close. So back on the train we went, up in the air, through the tunnel and to our parked car. Exhausted, stuffed, dusty, happy, with a camera full of pictures and a heart full of memories, we ended our day at the Texas State Fair. Hard to believe it was only one day. But remember, my Sweeties, it only takes a moment to make a lasting impression on a child.