One of the threads that runs through the fabric of quilting’s long tradition is coming together in a community and making quilts for others.  When I walked into the QuiltCon main hall for the first time on Wednesday night, I was greeted by what, to my mind, was one of the most powerful displays at the show.  The charity quilts, made and donated by guilds and individuals, lined the hall on the way to the main exhibit.

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Walking by them repeatedly for the last few days, they have become increasingly more meaningful to me.

In particular, I am reminded of the tradition of quilts made to celebrate and to comfort, to help and support, when the women (and some menfolk: my grandfather participated in quilt construction as a kid in the Depression era) would come together to make something that would then be released from their hands to go to someone else. A tangible gift, these quilts in my family were often critical to making it through the winter.  These quilts, many of which will be donated or auctioned off, with the proceeds going to various causes, are continuing that tradition, and it’s a beautiful thing. As I’m writing this,I am sitting next to these quilts, a testament to the hard work, the warmth and compassion that quilters have and freely share with others through the work of their hands and minds and industry.  It’s a tradition that is a deep and abiding component of what we do as a community of quilters and makers, no matter what category we may (or may not) fall into.

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