I have been blessed by generations of quilters in my family. My Grandma, my Mom, My Mother-in-law and both of my husband’s grandmothers have all spent hours creating warm blankets full of love. When I was newly married, I acted on instict. I pieced together some scraps from dresses I had made for myself, starting a traditional nine patch quilt top. Then, inspiration struck.
With the birth of my first baby, I decided on something very ambitious. The idea was to embroider his name and date of birth on the first square, and then a picture that depicted something he loved for each year of his life. So, by the time he graduated high school, I would piece the squares together to make a unique quilt. I copied pictures from color books, sketched some ideas of my own, and worked while the baby slept, happily indulging my creativity. When the second son came along, the tradition continued, but now I was making two squares each year. All of their favorites were fair game, whether toys or TV shows. Then, surprise, we prepared for the third baby. By this time, I was way behind on creating squares. Now, what HAD my oldest son loved when he was five? Gradually, life got in the way, and I stored the squares in the closet, hoping to get back to them some day.
The nay-sayers in my life laughed at me. Nice work. Too bad they will stay in the closet forever, they said. Then, as two of my children found their life mates, inspiration struck again. I would ressurect the quilt squares and piece them together for my potential grandchildren! I presented the first quilt to our first grandson complete with a Cabbage Patch Doll his mom had loved, and a few years later, the second, with the General Lee race car, and waited for the last branch of the family tree to begin budding.
Last year, my middle son announced that he and my Florida daughter in law were expecting. I pulled out the remaining set of squares and got busy. I borrowed a quilting frame, and when the owner needed it back, I switched to an emboidery hoop. With a full time job, and the fatigue of a four time Granny, progress is slow. As I sit in my favorite chair, reading glasses perched on my nose, my lap covered with memories, my stitching is bittersweet. It will be a little hard to let go of this one. But, soon, the final one of a kind quilt will be presented to its new owner. Then, all three of our kids can entertain the five grands with stories of their childhood favorites, and their slightly wacky, but persistent mother.