Let's just say I can appreciate a little 'wonk'. Especially if we are talking quilts. I love quilts, different shapes, sizes, colors! I used to make quilts back in the day; in fact I can recall my first truly satisfactory (brimming with pride really) sewing project was the first quilt I ever made, I was 13 at the time. It was full of wonk. The last quilts I made were just before Pony Girl was born, small hand tied crib quilts that now keep her dolls cozy on cold nights.
I have been itching to make full size quilts again for ages, but it seems time, space, and other things get in the way. In the mean time however, I have started a little collection of quilts made by other people. I have a few amazingly beautiful vintage quilts from my grandmother, some she made - some given to her for gifts. I also have another growing collection of quilts made by people unknown and picked up for next to nothing at thrift shops and yard sales.
Some of them are slightly vintage, or at least make use of some vintage fabrics, others are not vintage in any way; but all of them were made with love and care.
Sometimes the colors are a little strange, the stitches uneven, the binding twisted, and there is always an element of wonk. Some are small - odd shaped and sized, some are large and crooked.
When I spy such a quilt in the thrift shop, my heart skips a beat as I go to investigate. Some are a pass, left for someone else to discover. Then there are the sweet few that have made me look around in fear that someone would grab it out of my hands. Those lovelies come home with me to stay.
Some are worn, most have small stains, and some need repairing. I almost whisper to them, "You are coming home with me and I am going to take good care of you." The first thing I do when I get them home, is to give them a good once over. If I determine they are tough enough for a hot soak and a trip through the washing machine and dryer, down they go to the laundry. Once they come through looking brighter and smelling daisy fresh, I thread my needle for any repairs. During my repairs I get to spend some quality time with my new wonky quilt, getting to know it better - acquainting myself with it's personality and quirks.
Once any repairs are complete, I lay out the quilt on the big bed, I run my hands over the stitches, I stand back and admire the big picture, and I am happy. I think about all of the time and care that went into making these quilts. The cutting, the piecing, the sewing, the hand quilting! Hours of time and love! I wonder about the maker, the recipients of these quilts...sometimes I tell myself a story about them. I always wonder how they landed in the thrift shop or the yard sale; certainly I would never give up these beautiful wonky treasures. Though I will admit I am a little happy that someone did give them up so that they could come home with me.
Another really great thing about these quilts - I am not afraid to use them. They make our beds cozy, get thrown on the ground for a picnic, wrapped around us on cold nights, and they make the most spectacular dens and forts! From time to time they cover 'the couch that mocks me' for a burst of extra bright and cheerful.
Thank you to the makers of these happy quilts, your work is appreciated and fills me with joy.