To heirloom or not to heirloom?

Recently I picked up ANOTHER quilt magazine. Yep, I have to admit that I have a weakness. If I can’t buy fabric or other quilty tools, I have to find a new magazine that I haven’t read ye and bring it home where I will read and reread it! There are a lot of good articles in these magazines. From the history of quilting and techniques, to the who’s who in the quilting world, they are a wonderful source of information.

Here's my version of a "collage"

Upon reading an article in the October issue of Best Quilts for Christmas published by Quilter’s Newsletter, I discovered that there could be a wide range of things considered heirloom quality. In the article on page 6 “Memories of Christmas Past” they show some wall hangings that are made with pictures that were printed on fabric. I love this technique and have actually made a few christmas presents this way myself. However, it got me thinking. If you make something and put a picture of something vintage, old, or antique on it, does that alone make it an heirloom? Is it an heirloom because of what is used to construct it, or because of how it is constructed?

Here are the conclusions that I came up with. It is only an heirloom if it has been treasured enough to be passed on to someone in a younger generation with the intent that they keep/use it and will one day pass it down. Having defined it as such, I think there are important things to consider before making something of heirloom quality.

  1. What is its intended purpose?
  2. Does the construction fit this purpose? Will it last in its designated role?
  3. Is it something that anyone will want to keep or gift as something to be treasured?
  4. Does it require extra work to preserve? If so, is it reasonable?

These things are questions that will have to be answered as I continue on this journey. So very few things get passed on as heirlooms, will I have what it takes to create these treasures for my own family and yours?

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