Some people’s love language is quality time. For others, it’s words of affirmation. For the late Margaret Hubl, who passed away at the age of 89, it was quilting.
Margaret was a proud mother of three when her sister-in-law passed away in a tragic accident, leaving a set of twins without anyone to care for them. Margaret and her husband Henry opened their hearts and their home and raised the twins as their own- making them parents of 5 young children.
Margaret took up sewing to keep up with her growing kids, and when she found she truly enjoyed making handmade creations, she found a passion in quilt-making, which she continued to do until her final years. Her beautiful quilts became gifts for her grandchildren and other loved ones.
Her granddaughter, Christina Tollman, told TODAY, “She wanted us to have something to wrap up and keep warm in when we went away to school.”
Read more: How Knitting Can Slow Down Dementia
What Margaret’s family didn’t realize, was just how much love she poured into her handmade quilts. A member of the family had the idea to honor Margaret at her funeral by displaying the quilts she so carefully made. The result? Almost every single pew was adorned with one of Margaret’s creations.
“Never did I imagine how many there were. We covered almost every single pew in that church. I never knew how many she actually made,” Christina said.
In fact, Margaret kept a record of every quilt she made and gave away. A notebook which her family found after she passed, and now treasure.
“When we sat down to go through her things we found this — I call it a pocket notebook. Inside it says whose quilt she was working on, what day she put it in the quilt frame and which day she took it out,” explained Tollman.
That’s when they discovered that although Margaret was no longer with them, her gifts kept on giving. Tollman told TODAY they discovered quilts that were intended to be wedding gifts to some of her family.
“I actually have three cousins that are not married, and the day of her funeral was the day that they got to see their quilts for the first time. That was really kind of a neat moment.”
Today, you don’t hear of many community quilting bees happening, but the United States has a rich history in traditional quilt making. Quilts were a creative way to use every scrap of limited resources to make something that was both useful and beautiful. They also often had significant meaning, and were used to commemorate special occasions like births, weddings, and even graduations.
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“This is the love that Grandma made for each of us. This is what she made for each of us to wrap up in when we hurt,” said Tollman. “When we miss her.”
Do you have a family quilt that was passed down to you? We’d love to hear about it!
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