Wednesday, March 24, 2010

With no strings attached!

I had a crazy dream last night. I dreamed that I was pregnant and about ready to deliver my TWENTY-THIRD child. In my dream, I was in the hospital discussing my large family and impending labor with the nurses. I was relating to them the fact that this delivery was a bit bitter-sweet for me because we had decided that this would be our last child. I’m not sure what prompted the dream but I do know that when I woke up, I was so grateful that I have 4 wonderful children, almost 7 absolutely adorable grandchildren and, thank heavens, I am NOT pregnant.

I have always felt that it is very important that each child and grandchild receives a quilt made by me, sometime in his or her life. As each grandchild has arrived, I have tried to have a quilt finished before his or her first birthday. With grandbaby #7 (a boy) due in a few weeks, I have been searching for fabric that will be just perfect for his “construction/trucks” quilt. Twins Luke and Logan received twin “happy snake quilts” – made from the same pattern, but different background colors. Lucy received a fun and “girly” animal quilt, Tyler’s was an “I Spy” quilt and Gracie received a “Ducks in the Pond” quilt. As I look back, it seems like the pattern and construction of each quilt got a little more involved with each subsequent grandchild. When the time came to make Katie’s quilt, it started as a “Bee in the yard” quilt, and ended up being an appliqued “Bee-attitude” quilt – full of grandmotherly advise. Each appliqu├ęd bee and flower had its own message embroidered in the squares - “Be honest, be grateful, be respectful, be clean, be joyful, be still, be forgiving, be involved, be kind, be positive, be loving, be smart, be humble, be prayerful, be patient, be yourself, and be true.”

Quilting affords us many opportunities to touch the lives of others. We choose a pattern and then make it our own. We choose fabrics that suit our personality, or the personality of the recipient. We choose colors that distinguish our handiwork as something for an adult – or a child; a man – or a woman. We can take hours (or even days or weeks) to select fabrics that will appropriately convey the theme of our quilt. When we cut our fabrics into pieces and then stitch them back together again, we try to make sure that the finished quilt has points that match, borders that are not wavy and backing that has no tucks. After we carefully attach the binding, we sign our name inconspicuously in the corner and admire our handiwork. Then, we look at it one last time, hug it goodbye, and lovingly give it away to the intended recipient - with no strings attached.

As blanketeers, you also lovingly give away your masterpieces with “no strings attached” - but it’s usually to someone you’ve never met – and probably will never meet. What a selfless gift of love! We thank you and we applaud you as do the children and their families who are the grateful recipients of your kindness and generosity.
If you happen to visit the Decatur Quilt Show at the Civic Center on Friday or Saturday (March 26th or 27th) – please look for Katie’s “Bee-attitude” quilt hanging with the other children’s quilts. As soon as the show is over, the quilt will be given to Katie and hung on her wall – a gift of love from her Nonna – with no strings attached!

Happy Blanketmaking!
Mary