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The Perfect Quilt

by Gwen Schroth

I went shopping for fabric to complete a quilt Betty asked me to do and got so excited about picking the right cloth that I was inspired to write the following poem. Thought you might better understand Loey's and my passion for quilting. -Gwen

A spool of thread, last on my list.
It won't take a minute, I'll be home in a jiff.
I pledge to stay the course, to buy just this spool.
I'll neither walk through the aisles
Nor glance at the quilts,
Not browse the patterns.
I'll leave this heaven of fabrics,
Purchase my thread, and go home.

I almost make it.
But one stolen peek lost me my heart.
Beckoning, enticing, bewitching?
The most spectacular fabric of blues, purples, pinks, and greens
Draws me, like a lover, from across the room.
Voices fade, sights recede.
The only existence--that glorious fabric and me.

Oh, how I want, no, must have this bit of heaven!
"Take the thread and go home," a voice rebukes.
"No harm in dreaming," I respond.
I lift the bolt from the rack, run my hand across the cotton.
I'm lost--the dance has begun.

So soft the feel, so bold the colors.
Swiftly I place other fabrics beside this delight.
Light green for the sashings, blues, mauves, a splash of purple
for the blocks.
The clerk adds a piece of shaded pink, inserts some gold,
Two passersby suggest more darks and a few lights,
The courtship is in full swing.

Fabrics fly, pieces added, some discarded,
Shading and hues discussed.
Then, completed, we fall silent,
Awed by our piece of art.
We murmur and sigh, contented.
The perfect quilt, we agree.

Just stopped for a spool of thread, my head reminds.
Frantically, I search an excuse.
The unfinished quilt on my sofa, another at the machine,
My cupboards busting with remnants.
No need for more coverlets.

Perhaps, just perhaps, this perfect quilt would make the perfect gift.
Yes. That's my rationale.
A gift. But for which child, grandchild, or friend?
Then in a flash--a lightening bolt--the answer comes,
I know for whom this quilt is meant!
I know the match--whose face will light with joy,
Whose arms will welcome, whose heart will fill with joy.
No self indulgence here.
This art is a necessity.

"Four yards for the border, 1 yard of the blue, 2 of the green."
The clerk measures and cuts.
We smile.
Know the marriage is complete.

I hurry home.
My husband smiles,
Knows he'll feast tonight.
Alas, leftovers tomorrow
For tomorrow I'll be busy.