Saturday, July 15, 2006

Quiltin' time

When Lance and I visited Brentwood last week, I
took some more fabric to my mother, who is
making our daughter‘s One Hundred Good Wishes
. On Saturday afternoon, we decided to take a
look at what we had. Mom already had pieced
together some of the 10-by-10 blocks, so we put
those out on the table to admire. Then we matched
some of the other fabrics and got to work. I cut the
pieces to the proper size, and Mom sewed together
more blocks. Sister Kay was our chief ironer,
fetcher and entertainer. We added the new blocks
to the others and stepped back to view the

It’s beautiful! The picture shows most of the blocks laid out, but they are not yet in any particular order, so this isn’t the quilt’s final appearance. But it gives us an idea of the diversity of the pieces and how they somehow all fit together to make a beautiful keepsake.

Our original plan was to use a snowball pattern, which would have had us cut all the pieces to the same size and shape. But just as our friends and family members are each unique and beautiful in their own way, so were the materials donated for the quilt. We realized that we couldn’t just cut them all down to fit a pattern -- some needed a little bit larger space, or a different shape or size. So we found something else that seems to be working.

The pattern we’re using calls for three pieces of fabric in each block, but few of the blocks fit the pattern exactly. Some blocks have pieces of different sizes than in the pattern (good thing I‘m good at math!). Some blocks will be composed of two fabrics instead of three, and a few will be only one fabric (like nephew Brett’s Mickey Mouse shirt, for example, or my friend’s large pocket with a Velcro flap that she donated so Rachel would have a place to put her treasures). With others we just had to get creative, like sewing Cousin Brenda’s blue jeans pocket on a square of my mother’s colorful fabric. I love every one of them.

Kay kept trying to make it tidy, to have all the blocks symmetrical or laid out in certain color families. I told her to give up on that! When I look at the pieces, I don’t see a hodge-podge of designs, I see the love and good wishes of our family and friends. I started telling Kay the story behind each individual piece, who donated it and why that person is special to us. You all have poured out so much love on a child you haven’t even met -- you have no idea how wonderful that makes us feel. And just think of how SHE will feel years from now when she looks at the quilt and reads your wishes in her scrapbook. It makes me ache even more to bring that baby home and wrap her in all that love.

We’re going to use some of the fabrics again on the border, so if your contribution ended up being just a small piece, you’re likely to see it again in another spot. If you can’t find you fabric in the photo, don’t worry: Some fabrics are not yet in blocks because we’re waiting to match them with others or trying to decide how best to use them. My own donation is not yet in a block, nor is Lance’s.

If you haven’t donated your fabric yet, it’s time to send it to me or to my mother. Please do it soon -- we don’t want to leave anyone out.

Besides, “Seventy-five Good Wishes Quilt” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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