On the Making of a Quilt

I often question whether I should make quilts, or anything for that matter, any more.  Yes, I like creating, but what purpose does it serve?  I can easily buy blankets and clothes.  That would give me more time to do things that really need to get done around the house like laundry and cleaning, to name a few.

Then a few weeks ago I got an email from my friend, Katrina.  Here is part of it:

Ed and I are very happy to be expecting baby #5 sometime around the 4th of July. On the Monday before Christmas, we received the sad news that our baby has a neural tube defect called acrania, which is very similar to the condition that our second child, Lucy, was born with. This condition is always fatal – our baby will be fine in utero, but will not be able to survive after birth. We are doing well and know that we can do this, especially since we have walked this road before. We are sad, but we trust in God’s plan for our family and are very grateful for this child. We would love your prayers, especially for our children’s emotional well-being, and for our peace and patience.

I was immediately moved to make a quilt for this family.  I’m not really sure why it had to be a quilt, but I just had a strong desire to make one no matter how much time it took.

I carefully picked out a pattern and beautiful fabric to make the quilt.  In the center is one big heart to represent their family, and I added 5 smaller hearts onto the quilt to represent each of their children; the ones here and the one in Heaven.

Every afternoon for a few weeks, I worked on this quilt.  Where ever I happened to be sitting while I was quilting, the kids would find me.  They used this time to tell me all of their made up “Once upon a time” stories that would always start in the forest (and end with potty humor and fits of giggles of course).  Matilda would help me with the stitches while being very careful not to poke Matthew with the needle because he was hiding under the blanket.

With every stitch I thought of Katrina’s baby cozy in the womb, then of my own little baby kicking in my belly.  I even thought of Anna Maria Horner, the designer of the fabric I was using, who lost her seventh last year.  All these sweet babies giving so much love.

It wasn’t until I was binding the quilt did I realize that the making of a quilt is just as important as the final product.  My kids will forever have those memories of spending uninterrupted time with Mommy while she quilts.  I will forever be grateful of the time with each stitch that I got to pray for so many sweet babies and learn so much from just a needle, thread and my thoughts.  It wasn’t until the binding of the quilt did I even realize the correlation between my making the quilt and letting it go and Katrina and Ed growing a baby only to let it go.

I believe the true beauty and dignity lies within a person’s choices.  The choice that Katrina and Ed have made to let this baby grow, despite the sadness they are sure to feel in the end, shows true, selfless beauty and dignity.  They are choosing to make a soul; stitch together a tiny, perfect little soul for nine months so that baby will be ready when the time comes for him or her to go to Heaven.

10 thoughts on “On the Making of a Quilt

  1. Elaine…your words, mind, and creation on this is very simply said…this is (you are) beautiful. Ed and Katrina and their little baby will be in my prayers and on my mind. With my own little baby (like you) kicking, pushing around in my belly…I can understand some part of hard (well not to her extent…) it is for Katrina. I think what I can not come up with in words is better (as you say) to understand through process. I can’t have the words to sooth (myself or Katrina) in reading her news…but the process of letting go of a creation made in love…well…that is much closer than my simple tears and heart ache. Thank you for this my Sweet Elaine…

    1. You’re so sweet Alyssa! And of course I’ve been thinking of your little girl through this whole thing too. It has been really awesome going through this pregnancy along with you…down to having the exact same due date! And every time I hear of babies going to Heaven sooner than we would like, I think the best thing we can do is teach our little babies who are here with us to love everyone as best they can…a job which you have perfected with all your sweet girls!

  2. thanks for sharing this, elaine. you’re right: creating beauty is never futile, whether it’s the sweet soul of ed and katrina’s baby or this wonderful quilt. i believe God appreciates our intentions sometimes more than the end product. prayers to ed and katrina and gratitude to all of you for accepting God’s greatest gift.

  3. Wow…Elaine your words capture so much so beautifully. Your gift of this quilt to Katrina and Ed and to all those you have quilted for is truly inspirational! A true gift from the heart.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. You are such a gift to your friend. One never knows the reasons we act upon certain situations, but one thing for certain God has a hand in this. This is a very painful time for everyone, and your creation will bring so much peace and comfort in those difficult moments for Katrina and Ed. God has such a wonderful way of speaking to us and guiding us to help others. Not only is this gift that you are creating a blessing of a lifetime for Katrina, Ed, and their family, but God is blessing you two fold. You are right, these are precious moments that your family will always remember and treasure. The treasured moments spent as well as teaching your children the beautiful gift of giving love to others. Elaine, God bless you and your family.
    Thank you so much for sharing. You are an inspiration.
    Jane Rodriguez

  5. It made me want to be an American .I think *that’s* the change here.It’s again time for America to be a place/an ideal/a memveont that people *want* to be a part of , not that people shake their head at in confusion.Let’s hope the next eight years bring us ever-closer to that ideal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s