Morn Shall Tearless Be Quilt

I went to lunch today with a friend whose husband passed away more than a year ago.  They met when they were 14 years old and spent most of their lives together.  It was sweet to hear her thoughts, and to see her courage as she works to find her way without him.  Another friend of ours lost his wife just days before Christmas, and every time we see him, he has tears on his cheeks.  As I drove home in the rain this afternoon, thoughts swirled in my mind, and all I wanted to do was curl up with a quilt and feel warm.  Warm and safe.  Of course, instead I had to go pick up kids from school, but I got this quilt out when I returned.  This is the “Morn Shall Tearless Be Quilt”, and I’m excited to tell you about it.

It’s kind of amazing how many ideas can come from just one quilt, or the scraps from one quilt.  This is one of those happy extras.  When I made my Vintage Spin quilt I saved all the cutoff scraps as I trimmed the dresden blocks.  Some time later, I sewed them all to these rectangular blocks with a simple top stitch on my machine.  Then I played with them on my design wall until ideas took shape.  I had over a hundred of them to experiment with.

This quilt was the first idea; more predictable, perhaps, than those that follow.  My second idea was the Awake Quilt, (pattern available here).  A third is in the works.  The color scheme of all the blocks was actually influenced by this quilt first.  I wanted the cutoff curves to look like sunrise.  You know that moment of light just peeking over the horizon?  Where I live, it happens as the sun’s rays make it over the Wasatch mountains, creating often glorious sunrises.  Sometimes the beams stretch out visibly across the valley and it just takes your breath away.  I was thinking that it’s such a welcome sight!  Morning is like a promise kept.  So I chose my background block colors to represent dark, long nights, before any sign of light arrives.

Morning doesn’t always bring relief or joy.  Sometimes it brings tears.  Tears of loneliness, of facing another day without a loved one, or of carrying a burden that is only lighter in sleep.  Those things that make morning heavy and hard come in countless forms, and they are real.  So as I designed this quilt, I wanted to portray lots of mornings, successive mornings, mornings that keep coming while we wait for relief.  Mornings that trust the promise of good things to come even when it stays dark.   For the longest time I didn’t have a name for the quilt, until I attended my son’s choir concert.  There I heard a choral piece by Elaine Hagenberg, O Love.  I wept as I listened.  This was it.

Here are the lyrics:

O Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in thee; I give thee back the life I owe, That in thy ocean depths its flow May richer, fuller be. ‚Äč O Joy that seeks me through pain, I cannot close my heart to thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain, That morn shall tearless be.

As I heard it, this was the feeling, the message I hoped to convey with my quilt.

Somehow, some way, if we don’t close our hearts to it, the day will come when morn shall tearless be.  We may lose count of the mornings in the waiting, but it will come.  This is the promise.  This is my belief.  And this is my quilt that says it.  Morn SHALL tearless be.

Much love to you,

Jennifer

4 comments

  • Georgia

    I love this quilt and especially the story behind its creation. A plus was that you used trimmings to their best advantage. Your quilt makes me want to look with a new eye toward what I trim off.

  • jennifer

    Thanks Georgia! I feel the same way, even if it takes me forever to use them up. It’s a great way to stretch myself creatively!

  • A powerful post and a beautiful quilt. I’ve accumulated fabrics for a vintage spin quilt, and will definitely be saving those cut-off pieces for a similar use.

  • jennifer

    Vintage Spin is a fun one, I just quilted mine. (Finally) I have enjoyed making these “extra” quilts with the scraps. I’m sure you will also!

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