When we arrived at my parents' house for our last visit, I found this waiting for me:
It's our One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt, all finished!
The picture really doesn't do it justice. My mother was able to stitch together all those very different colors, shapes and types of fabric into one unique gift of love. It turned out even more beautiful than I imagined it would be -- very colorful and warm and full of happiness. I love to point out the squares and tell Ting Ting who they came from or what they represent. I also have a scrapbook of all the quilt fabrics and good wishes so she can match them up herself some day.
Her quilt contains:
-- logos of three institutions of higher learning: Vanderbilt University, Notre Dame and Stephens College.
-- part of a Brownie uniform skirt.
-- three different pockets: a large cargo pocket with a velcro closure; a jeans pocket sewn on another piece of fabric and a big ladybug pocket on a piece of a little girl's dress.
-- two newspaper logos, from the first stop on my professional career (thanks, Steve) and the other from my current employer.
-- a piece of cloth from Nigeria (the first contribution).
-- the Chinese character for Joy, written by one neighbor for another neighbor to have silk screened.
-- pieces of several onesies worn by other babies, including one on which yours truly cross-stitched a design nearly 17 years ago (the baby who wore it just got his driver's license).
-- pieces of several beloved baby blankets.
-- part of a shirt that my late grandfather once wore that features the logo of the small town in Tennessee where he was mayor for 16 years.
-- A piece of my late grandmother's clothing embroidered with the name her grandchildren called her.
-- Pieces of the clothing Lance and I wore on the 4th of July in 2003, the night before our wedding.
-- Other fabrics that represent our friends and family in beautiful ways, from the blue-on-blue from my friend Debi to the cow fabric from my sister Kay to the musical notes from two travel mates who teach music.
See what I mean? It's beautiful! Some of the fabrics are even from people I never met in real life, but who accompanied us on this journey in one way or another.
No matter what twists and turns Ting Ting's life might take, she will always be able to look at the scrapbook and touch the quilt and know just how much she was wanted and loved before we even knew her name.
What a beautiful gift. Thank you all for contributing. And thank you, Mom, for putting it together so wonderfully.