Friday, October 09, 2009

Be Of Good Cheer

I'd been seeing red, pink, white and orange quilts all over the blogosphere this summer, so I pulled out my stash, added a few (isn't that what we always do?) and made a quilt.  I somehow knew it wasn't mine, but hadn't yet figured out whose it would be.

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.

31 comments:

Zonnah said...

It is very cute :)

Terri Stegmiller said...

Totally love this! These are sooooo my colors.

Judy said...

Barbara is lucky to have a mom like you. I love the significance of the colors. Beautiful, E.

live a colorful life said...

Barbara, you had me first with the colors of the quilt. But then as I read the story, I was hooked. As a grandmother of three (the first one who is in heaven...), well, I don't really know what to say. Beautiful quilt, beautiful story, beautiful baby. I'm sure the quilt surrounds Barbara with love.

live a colorful life said...

I know Barbara is your daughter, not you. I realized that right after I hit the "publish" button. Sorry about that. Anyway, I LOVE the quilt. I'm so glad you shared it.

Christina said...

::sniff::

what a great story behind that beautiful quilt!

charonfamily said...

Cried my eyes out reading this Mom! I do LOVE that quilt. It reminds me everyday the reason why I have to continue. I sleep under it EVERY night and I love it, but not as much as I love you. Thanks again. Be of good cheer!

Claudia said...

What a touching story. I love the colors in your quilt and the back is as gorgeous as the front.

Claudia

TJ and Whitnee said...

Thanks for sharing Elizabeth! I'm so fascinated that you dad was born in Heber! You'll have to e-mail me and tell me what his last name is! It's a very small world here in this small town! :)

urbancrunch said...

Beautiful, beautiful quilt. Beautiful story.
-Jaclyn

ROZ said...

Lovely quilt. wishing your daughter all the best...

Marianne said...

Beautiful quilt and beautiful story.

Katrin said...

Your quilt is very, very nice! Your daughter can be proud of her mum and the quilt! I hope, that the cardiomypathia will get better because of their children.
Best wishes, Katrin from the north of Germany

two hippos said...

It's beautiful. I'm loving those warm colors. Thanks for stopping by my blog as well, and I hope you come back!

Monica said...

Beautiful Quilt and a great story behind it, sad to hear about your daughter.

Thank you for the comment on my blogg. I am impressed that you figured out Sweden!! I am sorry to disappoint your impression over my stiches, it is a machine embrodery, so I am cheating ;-).

regards Monica A nr 373

Rene' said...

What a very special quilt. You picked all the right colors. Your daughter will feel your love everytime she picks up the quilt and wraps herself in it. I wish your daughter good health. Thanks for sharing.

Katie B. said...

What an incredible quilt! Really two quilts in one. I know your daughter finds comfort in this beautiful quilt.

Thearica said...

The bond between a mother and a daughter mixed with the gift of a quilt: Priceless!

I wish for a cure for your daughters ailing heart....She has too many roads yet to travel...too many songs left to sing....

Terriaw said...

I really love the sentiment behind each color. What a wonderful idea. This quilt is gorgeous - it's so warm feeling. But the story behind it is amazing too.

hetty said...

A beautiful quilt and a beautiful touching story!

silversmith said...

what a beautiful quilt and a touching story. best wishes for all your family.

Leslie said...

this is gorgeous and such a beautiful story!!

stitchinpenny said...

Such a special hug you made in the form of a beautiful quilt. I wish you and your daughter many years of warm hugs.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Beautiful quilt! Love the colors.

Shari said...

I couldn't ever imagine crafting a pink quilt before but the addition of the orange is nothing short of brilliant! The quilt is fantastic!

quiltmom said...

Such a beautiful quilt with such a moving story. Whatever your daughter's future holds, she always has the warmth and strength of your love to wrap herself up in - such a gorgeous quilt. I love all sensational fabrics you chose..

Such a beautiful grand baby too.
Thanks for sharing your quilt and story.
Warmest regards,
Anna

Deborah said...

Beautiful quilt and story! And what a beautiful baby! Thank you for your comments on my blog. It can be painful to have a mother's heart and sometimes it is necessary to be reminded to be of good cheer, which is really the only way to be.

amy smart said...

What a wonderful quilt and a tender story. I'm so glad you shared both. Makes you appreciate the simple things you take for granted and want to be aware of ways to do for others. So great to meet you Elizabeth!

Mikol said...

What a fun and cheerful quilt!
My heart aches for your daughter. My baby #3 is 20 months, and I can't even imagine what Barbara (and everyone around her) is going through. Hang in there!

sewpam63 said...

What a spectacular quilt with a special story too! LOVE it. A quilt holds magical powers, I swear! Thanks for sharing. ; )

Krista said...

You give me goose bumps and I love you more with every post you write. Even the old ones I'm only just now discovering. Be of good cheer. Fantastic sentiment.