Several weeks ago, I was cleaning out the closet in my guest bedroom because my sister was coming for a visit. I thought she deserved 12 inches of rod to hang her clothing. While I was cleaning out and organizing the closet, I brought down all my quilts and refolded them.

I came across a quilt I had made six years ago. I had custom made this quilt to fit on our bed, so it was a peculiar size. I thought this was a good time to start using it and took it to our bedroom — the quilt on our bed at the time was made more than 12 years ago and was looking a little tired. Once I put the new quilt on the bed, the whole room came to life. I wondered why I took so long to use this new quilt.

I then stacked all the refolded quilts back onto the guest closet shelf. While I continued to clean the guest room, I started to wonder what quilters do with all the quilts they make. Do we all have a big stack of quilts in our closets? Personally, I usually make a quilt to give as a gift or to donate to a worthy cause. But sometimes I make a quilt because I want to try a specific technique or pattern, or it was a challenge or a mystery quilt.

Eventually I find a new home for them. Quilters are known for their generosity when it comes to donating their quilts to worthy causes. The Quilts of Valor Foundation earned Organization of the Year recognition this week from the National Veterans Day Organization in Birmingham, Ala. The Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild has earned recognition from the Veterans Administration for their member’s donations.

Quilters do not ponder what they will give as a baby shower gift. It’s a given; it’ll be a quilt. I sometimes think I’ve been invited because they know I’ll make them one. I’ve been lucky enough to win three raffle quilts, and I’ve used them myself for years. I donated the knitted afghans I found in the closet to a worthy cause. Who wants an afghan, when a handmade quilt is available?

I’m not sure if any family members will be fighting over my quilts after I’m gone, so I decided that I’m going to use my quilts and enjoy them while I’m here. And why is it that if a quilter is working on a quilt at her bee meeting or at a retreat, and is asked why she is making it, she feels guilty if she says she’s making it for herself?

Why do quilters usually put themselves last?

The story behind that quilt I just put on my bed is: I took a class at a local quilt store — probably eight years or so ago. I purchased one yard of fabric of three different purple-violet fabrics: Dark, medium and light. I had planned to make the quilt for my daughter-in-law because her favorite color was purple, and make the quilt in a size I call a “couch quilt.” You know, the one you curl up in while watching TV? By the end of the class I went back out to the fabric section of the store and purchased one more yard of each color so I could make the quilt for myself because I liked it so well.

I gave my daughter-in-law something else for Christmas that year.

Nancy C. Judd of Harker Heights is a member of the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild and a Herald correspondent.

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