As I read more I see that quilts carry lots of meaning intrinsic to both their textile nature and their function as quilts. They are bound to emotive occasions, marriage, birth, death. Given as a form of comfort at a still birth (see the Jill Fisher entry in Why We Quilt. Could also probably follow this up with programs to reference. ) They are intimate objects designed to lie on the bed or be wrapped around the body. Often they have cloth associated with memory sewn into them. They are associated with a lot of time and effort in their construction and are given in love or care. They are resilient and washable and have the ability to be repaired, but also they also ultimately disintegrate and return to the earth without polluting it. Heavy with meaning even without further imagery. Stories of family are woven into the construction.
I’m not sure if quilt would be considered a keyword.
Quilt – A bed covering consisting of two joined pieces of fabric enclosing a layer of soft material (such as wool, cotton, or down) which acts as padding or insulation.
This is the Oxford English Dictionary definition for the noun quilt that best approximates what I mean by a quilt. But a quilt is so much more than this. It is an aesthetic object that has been created with careful craftmanship over many hours, to provide warmth and comfort to another. It is often associated with important life events from birth to death. Quilts may be weighty with meaning by the incorporation of textiles from other memory laden sources, or may themselves become the holder of memories by retaining the trace of the bodies they have covered. They are a resilient object that can transcend generations, but will ultimately degrade and return to the earth. A quilt is both a familiar and a precious object that has value far above a simple bed covering.