Have you ever read the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker?
Or have you watched the short film (25 minutes)? You might know Walker better by her book, “The Color Purple”.
Years before I sewed my first quilt, her story “Everyday Use” stuck in my mind. It’s a beautifully simple and but immensely complex short.
Walker’s story is actually one of the reason I became interested in quilting. I loved how generations of women could weave memories and joy with just bits of fabric.
I didn’t come from a family of quilters. Quilting seemed like a fascinating North American experience that I missed out on. know many quilts originally came out of necessity and utility. But for me, they evoked images of rustic log cabins and glowing embers in a cozy fireplaces.
Walker’s story made me reflect on how we value things and experiences. Is it more respectful to preserve family quilts or to use it everyday for what it was intended? Is the real treasure actually not the quilt itself, but the time spent quilting and passing knowledge through the generations? What if you never got a chance to learn? What if the only connection you have left is the quilt?
I hope you find your own answers in her story.
My advice is to enjoy your quilts and fill them with love and memories. They won’t last forever, so enjoy them before the moths do.