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I never in a million years thought I would be a knitter or a quilter. I like instant results that I can see right away. When you knit or quilt something it takes time and a lot of it. I first began knitting after Colin was born and I had made a friend through my moms group with another mom who had a baby the same age. She was a huge knitter and insisted I try it. I found it to be enjoyable and also relaxing. ( I'm not the sort who relaxes easily...) Then about a year later my Aunt who is a fantastic quilter asked if I wanted to take part in a beginner quilt class she was teaching to some friends in her home. So I thought what the heck I'll try it. I found this to also be enjoyable and relaxing as well. I really do think I was meant to learn these hobbies for what life was about to deal me a few years later. It would be my way to start "joining" life again and finding ways to relax with everything I was coping with.
So move on to about 2 years after I quilted my first project and I was yet again invited to join a class at my Aunt's home. This time a sampler quilt. Which means every block you sew is something different using a different quilting technique. I decided to sew a Queen size quilt for my bed. Most of the blocks would be hand sewn and there are a total of 12 blocks. During this time I was pregnant with my second child Scott. I would gather once a month with these women to work on our quilts and learn the technique for the block we were sewing. These women got to watch my belly grow and grow during that year. I would joke that my quilt would be officially done by the time Scott was 12. I was trying to get has much done as I could before he was born knowing with two boys in the house not much sewing would take place.
Then tragedy struck, Scott was born and died 14 days later. The last thing on my mind was the quilt I was sewing. I went through a phase were really anything that was from my pregnancy got thrown away, given away, or shoved off into a dark corner somewhere. It was my way of coping with my loss. 4 months after Scott died my Aunt suggested I start a new quilt project something fresh and new that wasn't tied to my life before everything happened. She helped me pick out a design and fabric. This quilt I sewed became known as my "healing" quilt and it got me back to doing my hobbies being a little bit of who I was. I finished it by Scott's first angelversary.
Well 2 years later my oldest son now in Kindergarten and my home is feeling quite empty with the should have beens of knowing I should have a two year old hanging out with me waiting for his big brother to come home. My Aunt once again rings me up and tells me that she is teaching a sampler quilt class at a local quilt shop. She has talked to the owners and explained my circumstances and they would allow me to come to the class so that I could continue to work on my sampler quilt. I wasn't sure at first and then I reluctantly agreed to give it shot. Then the "OH NO" ( insert the curse word I most likely used where the no is) I had no clue where my finished blocks where or fabric I was using. Did I give it away? Or worse throw away? Was I so devastated two years ago did I get rid of it? I searched and searched and finally found it all. The blocks shoved in a bin all crumpled up. Relief! and then the ironing...so much ironing to get them looking nice again. After all that I was ready. I was ready to continue work on that quilt. So that whole year I went every other week and worked on my quilt. Being a just a few blocks ahead of the women in my class. There was one block that I was working on when Scott died. I could not finish that block. Instead I chose to do a sun. I had already sewn a block with butterflies and now I would have a sun. These two blocks would represent my boys. Butterflies for Scott and the sun for my son Colin my sunshine. The class ended and it was up to me to continue the work. At this point all I had to do was the basting ( adding the batting and fabric to the back) and then the quilting. I was actually excited about continuing the work and worked on it when I could.
Last week I put the final stitches in. Those last few stitches were hard. I was excited to finish but yet didn't want to. This quilt represents so much for me. It was the quilt that should not be finished. I should be too busy with a household of boys. Yet this quilt gave me a chance to also heal some more and work on something that I started right before my world came crashing down. It made me see that it is okay to return to a little of my old life. It's doesn't mean I am forgetting Scott. The quilt now lays on my bed and I am proud of what I have done and for what all those pieces of material represent.
What a beautiful quilt. I love love love the butterflies! And love you added the sun. I'm so glad you were able to finish it. You quilt tells such a story of your journey. I don't know if I would have the ability to quilt like that. Many hugs to you.
What a beautiful story. That quilt has so much love and meaning for you and your family. I'm sure it will be cherished by everyone. I love that your family kept finding ways for you to get your emotions into something physical and healing. Absolutely beautiful.
It's beautiful! My mom is a quilter, as was my great grandmother. I know from watching my mom that it takes a lot of work (and she always complains her stitches will never be as good as her grandmother's!). This finished product tells a life story. You should be proud.
Nicki, it's beautiful! Seriously, you've got some mad quilting skillz:) Truly, a piece of art and I'm thinking it's going to be a very special heirloom.
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