I have to wonder if it's worth it at all - this old quilt. Stained, faded, disintegrating with every wash, it continues to dress my bed. The space where one solid diamond meets floral diamond gapes for want of attention. There are many of such rips and separations. I've watched them happen. One by one by one. And I've embarrassed myself a number of times, straightening and smoothing it in the morning, or after it's been laundered, accidentally poking my fingers up one of the holes and thinking "I really should do something about this".
A gift from my mother-in-law, this department store quilt has graced our bed for over 10 years as the sole bed spread. Because I love it? I like it fine. But more to the point, I didn't buy it and if the shoe fits. . .
Even though only a queen, it was draped across our california king-size mattress, barely falling 2" over the sides, for all those years until this recent move when we gave our king to the boys and downsized to a double. And it still covers our bed except this time we can tuck it in at the foot of the bed meaning that in the middle of the night it stays equally shared between Drew and I.
I've taken moments to find other quilts but being unable to find the one I might have envisioned in my mind, refusing what I didn't immediately love, and unwilling to pay the price for what I may have wanted, I just continued to use the one I had, washing it again and again and again, making the bed and noticing the disrepair, and then leaving the room never to take thought again for the day.
But as the holes get bigger the guilt of my neglect either to repair or replace has also increased and today I began to sew. An hour and a half later, one and a half podcasts of "This American Life" later, and I'm not even done with a third of the quilt. I'm noticing as I go that the material itself is thin and wearing holes where seams don't even meet meaning it won't be long before tactful patches or careful embroidery will have to be employed and at that point, at this point, is this quilt worth it? Is it worth my time to salvage a thin, non-heirloom quilt?
I remember visiting with my grandmother once about the amount of time and money spent on canning salsas and tomato juice. I had believed her to be a proponent of canning and food storage, after all, she'd canned and gardened her whole child-bearing life, until she said to me "It's not worth it. What, with the price for a can at the store these days? Just go buy it!" I can hear her saying it to me about this quilt. "Just go buy it!"
I guess I'm just not ready to throw it out yet - deeming it worthless - and I can't very well give it away with all the holes. So here I'll be for the next few nights, catching up on missed podcasts, and sewing - in and out, up and down, over and through - wondering, 'when I am all done, how much time will all this work/time buy me with this old quilt? and, do I really want it for that much longer? Really?'
(and, i don't even love it. i like it alright but. . . )