Inspiring Gift


Shortly after my husband and I got engaged, his parents joined us on a trip to southern Vermont. While driving down rural roads, taking in the brilliant autumn colors, we saw a weathered barn with a sign advertising quilts. Inside, shelves of fabric occupied the cavernous space. On one wall, I saw a poster featuring different quilt patterns. In the barn’s center there was a large, square table strewn with quilting tools. I spun, searching for the finished quilts for sale. 

“I make quilts to order,” said a raven-haired woman after greeting us. “Would you like to design your own?”

I hesitated to say yes, knowing the quilts must be out of our price range. 

“It’ll be your engagement gift,” announced my mother-in-law-to-be.

For the next half hour, I scoured the array of fabrics, selecting a paisley fabric with an explosion of color, mostly green, brown, and red. Then I searched for other fabrics that brought out the subtle tones in my selection. I found four.

I carried the bolts of fabrics to the quilter. “Would these work together?”

“They’d be gorgeous together!” she said. “Especially in the Hunter Star pattern.”

A month later, we returned to pick up our gorgeous, queen-sized quilt.

Back in New York, I signed up for quilting classes. I studied technique and design, and even geometric patterning. Quilting became one of my passions until raising small children took precedence. I still have drawers of fabric and partially pieced quilts (pictured above) waiting for me to start sewing again.

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Inspiring Gift