Previously published in the Alaska Highway News February 4, 2015
I went to Value Village on the weekend. We (our family) refers to it as “Valooooo Villllaage” with a French accent – yes we are weird.
I love second hand stores…..so many cool things you can find and for someone who loves shoes, it is a great place to buy shoes guilt free. Oh and let’s not forget clothes and jackets and books and…. “my name is Judy and I have a problem with second hand stores”.
This trip I decided to take a gander at the baby stuff (you know…..for the upcoming Grand-Baby Boy Kucharuk coming soon to a maternity ward ….eek!). Most baby things are given away while they still are in remarkable shape and I was prepared to find some good stuff!
As I roamed the aisles, I spy something out of the corner of my eye. I see an item that looks like a baby quilt hanging amongst the myriad of sheets, comforters and duvet covers. As I run my hand over it and pull it out to take a better look, I can feel the softness of the flannelette material and the intricate stitching design.
It was beautiful.
I grabbed it and excitedly showed my mom and sister, “isn’t this beautiful?” I said.
Immediately I spotted another quilt hanging a few metres away and once again I pulled it out to take a better look. “Handmade just for you by……” was stitched into the corner. It was also beautiful.
At first I was happy.
Then I was sad.
And now….I am a bit angry.
Who GIVES AWAY A HANDMADE QUILT!!!!!!! (please note that my irritation is escalating to the first level of Canadian anger: capitalization in a strongly worded letter). There is no scenario where a quilt should be for sale at a second hand store. Note: Even if the quilt was handcrafted by the meanest, most horrible person in the world – there is an unwritten law…..you simply have to keep it and only put it on the bed when people you hate come over to stay. The rest of the time you can keep it in the linen closet, but you CANNOT GET RID OF IT!
I am a child of a quilter and I am a friend of a quilter and I know how much work goes into these fabulous creations, not to mention the thought and love that is clearly evident in each stitch! (You know how in the last paragraph I spoke about getting a quilt from a mean and horrible person? Well, it is impossible……mean and horrible people do not quilt – it doesn’t happen).
Random pieces of material do not magically come together – it takes a quilter to thoughtfully choose each piece, carefully thinking of the unique pattern and colour.
Hours and hours are spent cutting and pinning and sewing the squares together into larger squares to finally become a cover for a crib, a single bed or even a full size bed.
My mom recently gave my daughter and her new husband a full sized (I think Queen sized) quilt that she handcrafted for many months as a wedding present. It was beautiful and my daughter loved it. She will cherish it and I am confident that it would never, ever find its way into a second hand store.
The thought would never cross her mind.
A quilt is to be loved and used and kept forever. It is meant to wear thin from age and frequent washings. The cotton is meant to become faded over time. It is to be passed along in the family: Forever.
Lucky for me, those baby quilts have now found a new home; one that will love and cherish them forever.
Grand-Baby Boy Kucharuk will sleep under them and crawl over them and probably puke on them…..and I don’t care. They are now my quilts, they have found their forever home.