My Mother Taught Me to Quilt (poem)
My Mother Taught Me to Quilt
(for Evelyn Crum, master quilter, 1933-2008)
I learned from my mother how to quilt—
how to measure the width and length,
how to find the exact shade of a rainy day
or the hue of a grandchild’s trust.
She taught me that the whole is made up
of the piecings of each day, sewn one to the next.
And to save scraps; you never know when you’ll need one.
She taught me to ease dissonance
into harmonies of pattern, and when to stitch blind.
She told me that the straight grain is strong
but I must learn to work with bias—
for there are days when the fabric must stretch.
And she said there would be rough patches
over which I could appliqué flowers.
Then she taught me how to layer it together—
how to rock my needle, hand-stitching this work of mine
to the warm core and to the hardy backing.
Finally, she taught me to be proud—
to tuck in raw edges and bind the whole with boldness.
This is what I learned from my mother
when she taught me to quilt.
Evelyn Crum and only SOME of her many quilts!