I have been blessed to have beautiful heirloom coverlets, table cloths, and quilts made by both my grandmothers, some great aunts and my husband’s mother, aunts, and grandmother.
All except for one set, these treasures are in pristine condition even though they are 70 to 80+ years old.
Why is that?
These hand made treasures still look brand new because they were never used!
These gifted ladies spent countless hours designing, cutting, sewing, crocheting, and finishing these items. I have pillow cases with hand crocheted borders and table cloths with embroidered patterns and bound edges. All made by hand – all skillfully rendered.
My husband’s Aunt Priscilla gave me a crocheted table cloth and table runner that was hand made by her aunt that had never been used. Aunt Priscilla was born in 1915, so her aunt probably made them around the early 1900’s. I use them frequently, and with care. I do the same with the hand decorated pillowcases and tablecloths.
When my parents recently moved from our home to the retirement community where they now reside, they had to downsize. Mother brought out the coverlet pictured above that was hand crocheted by her mother – Svea Anderson Rohner. It is one of the most beautifully crocheted pieces I have ever seen – so even and precise. Mother asked if I would like it and I told her I would be honored to have it – but I would use it – with care.
It now graces the antique bed in our guest room, my parents’ former bedroom. It looks so pretty there, just like it belongs! I do replace it with a nice, but more durable quilt when guests with children use that room. I want the coverlet to remain lovely so I can pass it on to the next generation. I also don’t want to worry someone using the guest room.
Still – I DO use it. If it does gets a stain on it – I will try to remove it.
It was meant to be used.
I did mention one set of heirlooms that aren't in pristine condition. These are two quilts made by my father's mother, Grace Auman Barker, that are worn, even a bit tattered in places. Yet they are beautiful hand work and warm and cozy to use. My Grandmother Barker was a very practical person. I doubt she kept anything that she didn't use. I think she would be pleased that these quilts are used by her great and great-great grandchildren!
One reason I enjoy using these handmade objects, besides their beauty, is that they remind me of the ones who lovingly made them.
I treasure the quilt and the coverlet because my grandmothers who made them were women who had a great impact on my life. They were very different in personality, yet each loved God and desired to honor Him with her life. Each had a unique influence on me – each loved me.
God has given us something that He wants us to treasure – something that is meant to be used.
God has revealed Himself to us in the Bible and God also unveils His plan to redeem our lives through His Son, Jesus. If my Bible is just a book that is put on a shelf but never used, it is similar to all those lovely things my relatives made and stored away in trunks and bureau drawers – of absolutely no use.
I honor my family members when I treasure and use the lovely things they made.
I honor God when I treasure and read His Word. Just before Jesus was crucified on the cross, He prayed for us – His followers. John 17:13 – 19
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
Jesus gave us his Father’s words. Now it is our priviledge to share God’s word – the Bible – with our children and grandchildren.
It is meant to be used.
Gayle, what a wonderful illustration you give here of the value & importance of the Word. I have a few keepsakes from my grandmothers, as well, & this gives new meaning to the treasures they are. Thank you! Blessings
So true! I struggle with this, as I want to keep items passed on to my from my grandmother in pristine condition, but if I then in turn pass them on to my children without any memories attached to the items, what is the point? So we use them–with care–but they are used, so that I, who can actually remember my grandmother, can enjoy them, too! Great thoughts, thank you.