making a quilt the hard way
For generations women have been making quilts to mark the milestones in life: birth, marriage, a new home and even death. After doing a small amount of research on the topic (thank you google), I learned that this is a predominantly American tradition and other countries adopted the celebratory aspect of quilting from the United States. Take the Hopi tribe who learned about quilting from the Mennonites and then adopted quilt making for their baby-naming ceremonies (relatives decide on the baby's name, not the parents – how helpful is that?), where the baby is given up to 25 quilts (that's pretty helpful, too).
I tried to tackle one quilt, for the milestone of our new beach-house in Maine. I used the simplest pattern I could think of – big squares – to save myself from beginner's frustration. Good idea. In theory. But quilting is a skill that requires experience and knowledge, neither of which I have. So I struggled along until I had something that resembled a quilt. And I am very happy with it, but I learned a very important lesson from this: take a class.