Simple Tree. Special Quilt.
At our annual Kiefner Christmas gathering (the Sunday before Christmas), we load up in our trucks and head out to a field at the family farm. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.
Back at the house, the grand kids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy hot soup, visiting, and eventually gift opening.
In a quiet moment, I noticed my mother-in-law had placed a vintage quilt around the base of the tree. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for the lovely work, obviously done by hand, long ago.
Seeing the quilt made me wonder how many quilters around the world had made quilts as Christmas gifts, wrapped them and placed them under a tree for a loved ones to open.
This blue and white quilt was a Wild Goose Chase pattern, as best I could tell without disturbing it’s placement. It was gifted to my mother-in-law from her brother, having belonged to his wife.
The “Wild Goose Chase” quilt block is said to have been named after families heading west in search of fortune. It is also called “Flying Geese” and “Oddfellows Cross”.
Perhaps unintentional, my mother-in-law’s choice of quilt to wrap around the tree had an extra meaning since each year any new-comers to the Kiefner Christmas are required to star in the roles of the “Geese a Layin'” in our “Twelve Days of Christmas” (with motions) carol. There is a year-long quest for new geese and perhaps a bit of exaggerated drama about the role they are to play, just to make them nervous and have a little fun.