Ruby recently asked me if we could do a project together. We talked about it for a while, and then decided to make a quilt. I had prepared her that this would be a big project and that it would take a long time. But I think “a long time” in 9-year-old terms is something like a week, whereas I intended it to mean something like a year.

We started our project last weekend, and she began to understand that this was a big project. And that it was going to take a long time.


We decided on a scrap quilt in the old-tradition. There is no pattern, no color scheme. We make things up and then change our minds along the way. We are buying nothing new; all the fabric, the thread, even the batting, are coming from my abundant stash.

Ruby was delighted to dig through the scrap basket and find bits and pieces of fabrics she recognized. “This is from the Halloween costume you made for me when I was five/the Easter dress from the year that it snowed/the nightgown from when my hair was so long that I could braid it down the back” There were some fabrics that held only memories for me; scraps of the wedding quilt I made for a highschool friend (in which I learned to be discerning about whom I bestow handmade gifts on); the pajamas that the Sweetie Pie gave me for our first Christmas after being married; leftover fabric from college assignments. Such memories to be found in a piece of fabric!


Our 24 hours of quilting netted a large pile of ironed scraps, a bagful of 2″ squares, three  strips pieced together, and an aching back and neck (Ruby didn’t seem to be bothered by the bending and standing). We’re eagerly anticipating a dozen or so quilting weekends in the year to come, hoping to be finished with the quilt in time for snuggling next winter.