I'm usually enthralled by the different textiles I find around the world. Whether it's mudcloth from Mali, block stamped scarves from India, or woven rugs from Jordan, I love bringing these textiles into my life, learning how they are traditionally made, and running my hands over their surfaces.
And sometimes, it takes going around the world to appreciate the culture and traditions that you grew up with at home!
The people of Midwest America have been quilting since the pioneer days, and my family in Indiana has carried on this textile tradition. Growing up, my grandma always had a quilting project in progress. She made a quilt for each of her 13 grandchildren and, by the time she left us, there were enough quilts for us to all take another to save for when we got married. Her quilts are still found throughout our home and our cabin. I even made enough room in my suitcase to bring one to Uganda, to make my life there feel just a bit more home-y.
The tradition continues, as my mother makes each of her grandchildren a quilt when they came into this world. At my baby shower last week, she gifted the baby its own patchwork blanket made of green and brown fabric pieces she chose, cut, and sewed together, each with intention and love, I'm sure.
My grandmother had a sign hanging in her kitchen, made my by aunt. It read,
"Our family's like a patchwork quilt
with kindness gently sewn.
Each piece is an original
with beauty all its own."