The mother of my husband’s friend-for-the-most-years recently died. This was very hard as the man’s father is also dead and he is an only child who is not married and has no children. This leaves him rather alone in the world.
Husband, wanting to do something, offered to have me make a memory quilt if he would send along some of her clothes. Which he did.
The box arrived and I opened it: sweat shirts, fleece pants, pilled flannel pajamas, dog bandannas. I looked again. And I put the box away.
I can’t make a quilt out of that, I thought.
Every week or so for about two months I would do it again: Open the box, look at the stuff, put it away. I guess I hoped something new would magically appear and make it better.
But, I am not a quitter and wanted to finish the thing. I finally started cutting and laid the quilt out. I struggled. I called my parents. “What can I do?” I
And, my father gave me really good advice, “Deanna, to him, it is his mother.”
Oh. My. Heck. I had forgotten that. Here I was, showing a little, or maybe a lot of, unrighteous pride. Wanting to make something beautiful that people would admire as a quilt. But, this particular assembly of fabric is not about perfect color choices or intricate piecing. It is DEFINITELY not about me. It is about a son who misses his mother.
I went downstairs and looked at the quilt again. Hmmm…. When husband arrived home I shared what I had learned. “Well,” he said, “something I forgot to mention: She worked for the railroad for many years. Is there any way you can fit that in?” I am sure I jumped a little. “Come with me,” I said.
So, back downstairs we went. I walked to the shelves where my fabric lives. On the top shelf are the large pieces that might be suitable for backs. I reached up and picked out a recently arrived piece, which Julie sent as part of a fabric swap a month or two ago. Trains!
Some things are just meant to be.
So, here is the quilt. Don’t look at it as art. Look at it as love. I am sure that is how he will see it.
UPDATE: Due to the many requests for a pattern/tutorial, here is some information: The idea for the quilt came from http://www.pippapatchwork.com . She has a quilt there called the Sidewalk Quilt and I sort of copied the idea from her. She has no tutorial up, but a book is being published this fall…