Quilt it.

The other night – in the wee hours of the morning – I couldn’t sleep. A weird feeling washed over me (I’ve had it several times since living in LA.) It’s a sinking hopelessness in my stomach, along with the encompassing sensation of being on another planet. I don’t know where I am, who these people are in the world around me. I feel completely alone. It always makes me get teary. My brain can’t find anything comforting to grab ahold of.

I find a way to calm my little heart enough to go to sleep and things are lighter in the morning. But it makes me think about what’s comforting. Macaroni and cheese. Friends within reach. A hot cup of something, warming my hands. Cash in my wallet. Feeling hopeful. Fat woolly socks when the hardwood floor is cold.

I visited The Quilt Museum  at The Old Country Store in Intercourse, PA. I think this is the first point in my life where the thought of visiting a museum about blankets didn’t make me sigh UGHHHHHH and throw myself to the floor.

I had always imagined the “kountry-kraftsy” version of quilting. But I was delighted to discover these brilliant designs. I didn’t know quilts could do this…

*That quilt is hanging flat against the wall, by the way.
Scandal! One of the patches on this quilt had sexy Can-Can girls on it! My parents say they’re ballerinas. Either way, those tarts are showing their ankles.

My great-grandmother was an orphan, raised by… the AMISH. We drove by her adopted family’s farm in Intercourse, PA. It was big and plain (typical — no electricity or shutters on the windows. The laundry, a somber palette, drying on the line). It was intriguing to me. That somehow I have step-relatives in the Amish community.

This pic is one of my Mom, Dad and I, designing quilts. All I could make was a lame parallelogram-themed flower. So much for almost being Amish… (Wink!)
These quilts have a kind of powerful energy. Something that derives from the skill, passed through generations. The hands who worked together. The heart and soul sewn into gorgeous pattern.

There is something comforting in that. Being part of a whole.



3 thoughts on “Quilt it.

  1. It’s an art and a craft. I think your Amish roots (or is it just a single root?) are a lot stronger than you might think. You are currently studying and working on your own art/craft endeavor. Watch out for which patterns you use, though-you don’t want too many sexy scandalous patches worked into your pattern…unless you don’t want to be hung flat on a wall in the distant future.

  2. What a beautiful post, Lauren. Got me all teary eyed. I love these quilts..there is something powerful about them, indeed! I have recently found some antique quilts that I had to have…they are so comforting! Love you!

  3. Lauren, I love your blog and your recent postings about Lancaster *almost* made me want to hop on a plane to visit the folks. I particularly loved the quilts and have one from my grandmother who was black bumper Mennonite that looks exactly like the last one. All good wishes on your endeavors in LA! – Dani

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