Friday, October 12, 2007

Quiltiness

I haven't officially looked it up in the dictionary, but I'm pretty sure quiltiness is not a word. In fact as I'm writing this, blogger has underlined that word to indicate it doesn't exist. It recommends guiltiness instead. But that's not even close to what I mean. I'm talking about that wonderful quality that quilts acquire after they've been used and loved and, mostly, washed.
This is the baby quilt I made for my youngest before she was born. It wasn't made to go on her wall and she used it. Needless to say it's seen the inside of a washing machine. Now it hangs on the wall of her bedroom and all the laundering has given it a wonderful patina. I love walking by her room and catching glimpses of it. In fact, I make it a point of focusing on the quilt as I pass her room so that I won't notice the piles of clothes covering the floor.
I had asked my eldest to make her bed so I could take this picture. She didn't, but I think that actually highlights the quiltiness of her quilt. It hasn't been washed nearly as much as Abi's, but it still has that beauty that only time, use, love and soap suds can create.
This past week, this quilt came acroos my screen, and I started thinking about the quiltiness factor. I've always photographed, presented and sold my quilts without washing them. I wash all the fabric as it comes out of the dye bath, but not once it's pieced and quilted. I think that might be changing.
Last night when I finished quilting this little piece, I washed, dried and ironed it. I'm hoping I gave it a little quiltiness.

7 comments:

amanda said...

i like to machine wash (and gently machine dry) my quilts before they go to their recipients. i don't want people to worry when they get a little wrinkly and the colors fade a little - so i just make sure that they arrive a little wrinkly :)

Robin Ferrier said...

I know what you mean about a well loved quilt. I miss that quality with my wall quilts. I even washed one of my quilts the other day to see what would happen. If I wanted to carry this experiment further, I'd hang it. Can't see your pictures, will try to load again.

David A. M. Wilensky said...

Somewhere in my mother's dresser is a tiny grey fragment of the once-great piece of cloth I knew as Pinky as a small child.

Ellie said...

love your blog!

jude said...

oh how i love the washed element in quilting. and the ageing. all part of the beauty of the process. i wash everything even if the rules say don't. i am experimenting now with fabrics that "bleed". i love your quilts. and your blog.

Malka Dubrawsky said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.
Jude- One of the things I love about your quilts is that sense of the maker. You really manage to communicate the thoughtfulness you obviously put into them and that's pretty amazing.

Thimbleanna said...

As usual Malka, your quilts are fabulous. Love the colors!