When my daughter was two, I started a quilt for her because one of my favorite children’s books has always been The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco, because I love the idea of passing something down. I carefully planned the colors and stitching; each strip of the quilt’s pattern had different embroidery designs assigned to it including french knots, leaved borders, and zig zags to suit the motif of the various calico prints. It was worked on fervently during the time her room was pink and green in the winter meticulously quilting each strip. With each added section, the natural puckering of the fabric was lovely. Its ruffled edge extended around the perimeter, neatly framing tiny squares placed with precision throughout the joints. I love to make things with my hands and have made countless creations. Upon seeing it, my sister in law said it was the loveliest thing I had ever made.
When my daughter decided that she was too old to have a pink and green room, I was devastated. Devastated that she was growing up too fast, devastated that what I thought was the right color scheme for her room wasn’t what she thought it should be, and devastated that I had never had the chance to finish the quilt for her. I folded it carefully and placed it on the tippy top shelf of her closet where it still sits waiting to be finished.
This past summer, my sister in law was married. What to get the person who has everything? It must be something made from the heart. I thought about the quilt that I’d started for my daughter and all of the left over pieces that remained and how my sister in law had loved it. I dug through my fabric cabinet and pulled out the already cut strips and calculated how many I could make with what I had and what other pieces I had to buy.
I presented her with her quilt at Christmas time with her new husband and explained that my intent was to wish them well at their wedding with the gift, but like so many other projects I begin, my plans are much greater than my time. Nonetheless, she was quite happy with it, although I do not know if she realizes that the reason I made this design for her was because there was one day when she said the original was the nicest thing I had ever made. Someday, I will go back to my daughter’s quilt and finish it for the time she has her own daughter who still likes a pink and green room.