“The Primary Quilt,” Friend, Oct. 2004, 11
I always looked forward to Primary activity day because it meant exciting activities, great games, and tasty treats. Sometimes the activities were serious and spiritual, and I liked those, too, because I learned so much. But of all the great activities I went to, I remember one more than any other.
At 10:00 on the dot that Saturday, I showed up at church, along with the rest of the Primary-age children in my ward. After an opening prayer, a song, and a few instructions, we split into groups. I followed my group into a classroom and was surprised to find a large piece of green-and-white-checked fabric and a piece of solid green fabric, with a layer of fluffy stuff in between. It was all stretched out and tacked to some boards. Nearby were yarn and big needles. “A quilt,” I thought. “Who would be tying a quilt right in the middle of our Primary activity?”
“We are all going to help tie this quilt for someone in the ward who isn’t feeling well,” one of our Primary leaders explained. “After it’s finished, we’ll give it to her.”
“What a great idea!” I thought. When I’m having a hard time, I enjoy wrapping up in a nice warm blanket. But I wondered how well it would turn out since I had never tied a quilt and was pretty sure the rest of the Primary hadn’t either.
Then the Primary president announced who would receive the quilt—my own lucky mom! I was even more excited to try my hardest so the quilt would look nice.
My mom had been very ill all month. In fact, Grandma had to stay with us for a while because Mom was so sick she couldn’t take care of us. She had to be released from her Primary calling, too. Even though Mom’s illness wasn’t easy for our family, something good was going to happen. I would have a baby brother!
With the help of our leaders, we set to work. Even though I wondered if we could really do it, we tied that quilt. Everyone made a stitch or two. Then we each wrote a message, signed our name, or drew a picture in a book that went along with the quilt. I knew what we were doing would mean a lot to Mom because she told me how much she loved and missed all the children in Primary. And the person who bought the fabric must have been inspired, because green is Mom’s favorite color.
Tying the quilt wasn’t hard, but keeping quiet about it sure was. A few weeks later, the secret was finally revealed. On a sunny Sunday morning during singing time, we all walked a block from the church and around the corner to my backyard. We sat on the lawn and waited while one of our leaders knocked on the door.
You can probably guess that when Mom stepped outside and saw all the children gathered, she cried. She cried even more when we sang some of our favorite Primary songs in our best voices. Then the Primary president presented the finished quilt and the book of messages.
“Your singing was beautiful,” Mom said through her tears. “This is one of the nicest things that has ever happened to me.” I knew she meant it. She smiled and cried some more and said that she was going to go inside, wrap up in the quilt, and read every message we had written.
Mom still has that quilt, and I know she always will. It has a few extra-long loops of yarn on the back where some of the stitches weren’t pulled all the way through. Mom says that makes it even more special. To this day, when someone in the family is sick or has a bad day, nothing makes us feel better than wrapping up in the memories and warmth of what we affectionately call the “Primary quilt.”
“All around us are people [the Savior] loves, and he wants to help them—through us. One of the sure signs of a person who has accepted the gift of the Savior’s atonement is a willingness to give.”
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Giving with Joy,” Ensign, Dec. 1982, 11.