My daughter Barbara has a rare heart disease, PeriPartum Cardiomyopathy, the onset timed with (and perhaps due to) the delivery of her third child last December, a little clone of my daughter. While I could detail for you the technical aspects of this disease, basically Barbara has an 80-year-old heart. So, no pushing her baby around the block in a stroller, no more taking casseroles to all her neighbors, no more running up and down the stairs. No more sewing and putting things in her Etsy shop. As her mother, my heart was in a wrench over all this.
As I sewed the colors of a heart (reds) sprinkled with pinks (for love?), orange (for happy) and white (for faith) it became apparent to me that this was her quilt. I poured my heart into my work as I stitched the brightly-colored blocks. While that has a sappy sentimental sound to it, I think that's what happens when the stewing over something moves into your bones, your thoughts, and all the tears and travail and remembrances carry through your hands. Orange, red, pink, and white all combined to carry a message of love to her.
We traveled to a family reunion and brought the quilt to her in person (they live in AZ, some 7 hours from me). She was sweet and open and loved the quilt (see her blog where she writes about it), giving me a tender hug. This quilt is a tender hug for her when I'm not there, telling her that I love her, to hang in there, to believe that better days are ahead.
In short, to Be of Good Cheer.
Here's some details:
The stash lined up on the ironing board. I tried to use a lot of different fabrics.
The back, held up by my daughter and my husband at the Family Reunion (we held it in Eden, Utah, not too far from Park City!).
A close-up of the quilting, done with a butterfly pattern--Barbara's favorite since she was a child.
My quilter, Cathy Kreter, of CJ Designs, did it in a record two days--a favor to me because she knew the story and knew I was leaving.
Here I am, holding up Madilyn, that third baby.
She's a gift.