How to Unpick a Quilt

The quilt! Grandma Dot had left me her quilt in the will. If it wasn’t bad enough that I’d been named after her, inheriting a smelly old quilt, the one she’d died under, whilst my siblings got cold hard cash, was an insult.

“She must’ve really loved you Dotti!!!!!” they laughed together, on the way to the bank to cash in their cheques. Grandma Dot insisted on personal cheques till the day she died, no online banking for her.

As it turned out the quilt wasn’t smelly. It had been dry cleaned before delivery. It was soft from years of use and was warm. Each panel of the quilt told a story, a tale from Grandma Dot’s life. I remembered them from visits when I was a child. There was the one with a little dark haired girl riding a horse, a red kelpie running by the side. Granny on the farm when she was small. When I was small I pretended the little girl was me, the dog was mine. I named her Sally.

Grandma and Grandpa Luscak on their wedding day, both staring proudly out of the quilt, surprising lifelike. Another with the two of them and my mother as a little girl standing outside their brand new house in the suburbs. One of all of us, Grandma, Grandpa, Mum, Dad, my three brothers, two sisters and myself. No room on the panel for all the pets.

All of the panels were surrounded and joined together by carefully stitched contrasting florals, making the whole quilt like a field of wildflowers on a sunny day. Washed out a little by the ache of the midday sun.

As I eased the quilt over my bed, straightening out the creases, I noticed a tiny blip in the pattern. At the very top on the left hand corner, stitched in a small intricate pattern of intertwining dots of different colours, Grandma Dot’s favourite colours of black dots on a red background and mine, orange dots on blue. Together they formed a dotty little heart, keeping the quilt together, stopping my inheritance from fraying.

Copyright April 2013


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