Would You Like Quilt Lessons That Can't Fail?

June 26, 2013 Quilters are well known for their generosity to share with others, whether it is their fabrics for quilting, quilter supplies, or their time.  Quite often quilt lessons are not verbally instructional or written.  They are sometimes things or events that just happen to come our way that also teach us a valuable lesson which relates to quilting, and they show us another way to help others. Today, I’m going to discuss quilt lessons that do not require a pattern, but actually fall into “life lessons” that cannot fail and do provide great rewards.  I don’t mean to depress you with this posting, but I feel that the subject that I’m about to discuss may be an eye-opener for some of you – I know it was for me! Jane, a friend of LeeAnn’s from Minnesota, told us about a “Dignity Quilt” that her church group was making.  We were not familiar with Dignity Quilts but did a little checking on the Internet and soon determined that this was something our quilting group should do.  Here were more quilt lessonsfor us – we found out that we not only could give to the living, but we could pay tribute to those who have passed on. What is a Dignity Quilt?  It is a quilt made to cover a gurney as it is transported to the hearse.  A person who has passed on in a nursing home can be ushered out the front door with “dignity” (where he/she initially entered).  It also helps the remaining residents to be able to say their goodbyes, and visually it is not such a morbid sight.  In a private home, it helps the family members to know that their loved one is being honored, and it is comforting to watch their loved one exit covered with a quilt rather than a black body bag. We added the topic of Dignity Quilts to our list of quilt lessons. This new found knowledge showed us how we can pay respect and express compassion to those who have passed on, as well as to the family members left behind. This photo shows Jerald, our local Funeral Home Director, with two quilts we made for him (one for women measuring 53 ½” x 92” and one for Men measuring 50 ¼” x 96”).  Jerald has these quilts with him at all times when he makes a call.  He has shared with us how much comfort they have provided to the loved ones of the deceased when he exits their place of residence. You might wonder what size Dignity Quilts should be.  Well, on a lighter note, let me tell you how we determined the sizes of the two quilts we made. I visited Jerald at his place of business to discuss this project.  He informed me that he had a gurney readily available that we could measure to determine the size for these quilts.  I quickly informed him that I was not about to be the “model” on that gurney and we needed to come up with another idea!  We used a pillow at the head end and my large purse “humped” up in the middle and determined the size using a measuring tape.  Our Lake Gogebic Quilters pieced the blocks and LeeAnn and I finished the quilt top at my home.  We were not sure if the Men’s quilt was quite long enough, so we used my husband Bernie as our “model”.  He laid down on the floor with his hands folded over his belly, and sure enough, we had to make that quilt just a little longer! If you are not familiar with Dignity Quilts, check it out on the Internet.  I think you will be surprised to find out how wide spread this concept is and the ages of various individuals involved in making them.  Remember, one of the greatest quilt lessons for a Quilter, is learning how to give of ourselves, and recognizing the rewards that will come our way.