My Mother's Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith is a book written by Ramon Richards and is inspired by 30 family heirloom quilts sewn by several generations of women over more than 100 years. This book features full-color photographs of each quilt to show the handiwork. Each picture is also accompanied with a rich, personal, sometimes heartbreaking, and oftentimes funny story about why and how the quilt came to be with each reading providing a lesson and encouragement from the faithful women who crafted the quilts. Each quilt is as unique and lovely as the hands that created them with each one depicting the enduring legacy of faith, family, and tradition.
The oldest of the quilts, Carolina Lily, was buried in a trunk in a barn during the Civil War to keep it from being confiscated by raiders and soldiers. A legacy of handicraft, the Carolina Lily is a reminder that faith and family and a belief in God will take care of us. The Carolina Lily now resides at the St. Clair County (Alabama) Museum and Archives where it is occasionally displayed as a marker of the area's history.
One of my favorite quilts mentioned in the book is the Dutch Doll. It was an experiment of sorts by the author's mother when she first began to quilt seriously again after a long time. It was given to the author on her 18th birthday. Over time however, the author's mother eventually started spotting imperfections in the quilt, stitching that wasn't straight and sloppy embroidery. When she begged to make another one, the author finally told her, "I don't care about the craft of quilting. I care that you made this especially for me. That you made it from my old clothes, the same clothes you'd sewn for me in high school. For me, it's not about the quilting. It's about the quilt and the fact that you made it." The Dutch Doll serves as a good reminder to look at others through the eyes of love. When the author is tempted to pick at and try to fix one's flaws and imperfections, her mother's imperfect-but-treasured quilt reminds her that God sees us all as whole people, and that He wants us to experience the love and joy He felt when He created us.
Another of my favorite quilts mentioned in the book is the Cathedral Window, which was crafted by the author's grandmother as her health began to fail. She yearned to make one last quilt, her dream quilt, before her death. Completely a Cathedral Window quilt is a daunting task because of the completely different technique used, requiring hundreds of tiny color patches and hour upon hour of intricate hand stitching of the squares. This is an undertaking that younger, healthier women would find intimidating but the author's grandmother dove into the project with gusto. When someone told her grandmother that she might not complete the Cathedral Window before she died, she stoically replied, "That's in God's hands. If He wants it finished, I'll live long enough to finish it." This statement dropped a mustard seed in front of the entire family and her desire to finish the quilt instilled in the author a drive to "not wait" to pursue something she wanted to achieve. I'm happy to say that the author's grandmother not only finished the Cathedral Window quilt, surviving it by more than a decade, but she went on to add two more rows to it to make it big enough for a bedspread. God saw her through it all and more and the faith with which she stepped out into the unknown inspired her entire family.
I would have never thought in a million years that a book about quilts could contain so many heartwarming stories that even I (someone who knows nothing about quilts and sometimes struggles with faith) could relate to in some way or another. This was a great read, which lifted my spirits, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to give or receive a little encouragement. Couldn't we all use some?
You can pick up your own copy of My Mother's Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith at Better Books here: http://shopbetterbooks.com/my-mothers-quilts-devotions-of-love-legacy-family-and-faith/. You can also win one of the quilts featured in the book, the Friendship quilt, along with other loads of other prizes, including quilting hand warmers, coloring books, and 25 copies of My Mother's Quilts: Devotions of Love, Legacy, Family and Faith signed by Ramona Richards. Winners will be emailed after the contest ends on June 30, 2016.
Click here to enter: http://bit.ly/MothersQuilts