Thursday, June 30, 2011

Remember to say Thank You!

It is no small thing to receive a quilt for a gift. If you do remember what your Mama taught you and say thank you. The following is my thank you to the ladies of the Frisco Quilt Guild. May it inspire you to your own epistle of thanksgiving.

Thank you.
That is the gist of what I want to say, but the words seem too small, too plain, too ordinary for such a splendid gift. They don't laugh or cry with joy. They don't brush up against the cool surface of a fresh quilt and breath deeply of the love that went into making it. They don't sparkle with glimpses of personalities shining through the bits of fabric and thread.
I know that it is a tricky thing to make a gift of a quilt, especially if the gift is meant to commemorate something. It isn't so difficult to make any old quilt for the odd birthday or wedding, but a quilt intended to mark the passing or the achieving of a particular event by a particular person, well, it is like trying to find the perfect greeting card. When it is a group effort, it is like trying to find the perfect greeting card by committee. It takes courage.
Receiving a quilt can be a bit overwhelming. If you are familiar with the process it is easy to be struck by the depth of work that went into each aspect. Regardless of how the rest of the quilt hits you, (and make no mistake this hits me somewhere between "Oh my Gosh!" and "Shut my mouth!") you have to be floored by that. It is no small thing to be the focus of someone's attentions for the number of hours that it takes to see a quilt from start to finish.
A quilt is a particularly personal gift. They are a bit larger than the pen set given at graduations. (I have a couple in the back of the drawer in my desk, replaced by the age of computers and my lovely I-pad.) They are certainly larger than the clocks given at retirement parties. A quilt can not be set indiscreetly on a back shelf and left to accumulate dust. It is meant to be at very least seen, and at best gathered around the recipient as if to impart the warmest of embraces from a distant friend. A quilt is a shield, a comfort, and an encouragement to the one it is gifted to.
If you were to ask me to choose a quilt to be gifted to me, I couldn't do it. However, I know I would want it to reflect the giver and say something about the relationship I had with them. Given the personal nature of a quilt, I would want it to fit me as well. That seems like a great deal to ask, much more than I would ever ask of anyone who isn't my mother.
You've conquered all of these things and created a splendid gift for me.
The color and style of this quilt is not very traditional....neither am I....yet it seems to respect the traditions of quilting and design. It doesn't so much create a mood as make a declaration. Joy is spoken here and love and friendship and just a little bit of nuttiness. Skill and balance are also spoken for. Your fine workmanship tells me that this isn't the quilt that was made "just for..." insert kids, picnics, community service, any recipient that comes to the tip of your tongue when you sigh and give in to the temptation to do less than your best. This quilt sings of the freedom to create and share your creation with others who are like minded. It is not bound by the traditions that formed it.
This quilt was made for me, by you.
I have to say, yet again, that I am honored to have served the guild in the capacity of president. If this quilt, even in a small way, reflects the effect that I have had upon the guild, then I am touched to my very core. Thank you all.

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