The Crazy, Cozy Mama Quilt
6:24 am. Three days before Christmas. Hubby and all three kids are safely snoozing away in their cozy beds. The dog is passed out in front of the twinkling Christmas tree, twitching in his sleep as usual. I smell the distinct, rich, joy-inducing fragrance of pine needles as I recline with my feet resting on the armrest of our living room couch. It is dark outside. All is quiet. It’s just me. Just me and the new cozy mama-blanket I just finished making on Sunday.
After several hours of sifting through my kids’ old baby clothes, picking out which ones brought the most tender memories to my heart, sorting through old scraps of fabric from other blankets I’ve made over the years, and trying to figure out how to piece them all together in a way that will actually function as the front-piece to the blanket I had in mind… it is finished. It is not beautiful— it’s a mishmash of random, incongruous pieces of fabric all stitched together and backed by the softest, coziest dark gray blanket material I could find— but it is by far the most special blanket I’ve ever made. And it’s all mine. This silly-looking, crazy quilt is my gift to myself this year.
For a few years, I’ve been wondering what to do with the bag of memorable baby clothes that I’ve saved since my littles were tiny. Realistically, it’s not like they will actually put them on their own children someday. But I just couldn’t bring myself to either throw or give them away. I’ve given away tons and tons of their old clothes over the last dozen years of motherhood… but there have been a few key pieces that I just couldn’t bring myself to pass along. The memories associated with those articles are too precious to me. And since my memory already isn’t super stellar much of the time, I feared that if I got rid of the clothes, the memories and sweet feelings I have associated with them would fade away too. So I wanted to memorialize them in some way.
Thus, a crazy, cozy, mama-quilt was born.
I ended up incorporating material from the first article of clothing I bought when I first found out I was pregnant with my first child— Superman Underoos. (At the time, I was certain I was having a boy. No worries, though: Ellie rocked that Superman tank top with a pink and white gingham skirt many a time throughout her toddlerhood!) I used material from onesies each of my babies wore as newborns. I included Abby’s team swimsuit from her first year swimming for the Barracudas. I used Ben’s stained up, wore-it-every-day Captain America pajama t-shirt. I used an old maternity blouse I bought during my first pregnancy. I used material from a wine bag our friends gave us as a wedding favor. I used leftover scraps of fabric from the blankets I made for each of my grandmas and for each of my children and for a friend’s baby and for my nephew and for my daughters’ teachers. I included a piece of a sweatshirt I bought after I completed a particularly special half marathon with a dear friend. And the t-shirt my daughter tie-dyed when we pretended our house was “Camp Sunshine” a few years ago and a VBS shirt from this past summer and my hubby’s first S.W.A.T. t-shirt and some bedsheets my daughters used to love.
This quilt is heavy and soft and warm and filled with good, sweet, special memories. I feel like I am draped in love and goodness as I feel its weight on my legs.
Thank You, Lord, for this wonderful, sweet blanket. Thank You for giving me the idea to make it— and that I actually saw it through to the end (after, as You know, many many months of forgetting about it and then revisiting it, forgetting about it and then plugging away at it again). Please bless all my loved ones associated with these pieces of fabric here— wash them all anew with a fresh revelation of how very good You are and how very much You love and treasure them.
And for my readers, Lord. Please inspire them with ways that they, too, can memorialize some of their special people and memories. May we each remember Your goodness and the countless ways in which You have blessed us, provided for us, sustained us, rescued us, and even used us to bless those around us. I ask You to have Your way with me this week, Lord. Please lead me and speak to me and help me to continue finding You in even the most simple of moments.
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What about you?
In what ways do you attempt to remember God’s blessings in your life? Is there an art form that resonates most with you? Photography? Music? Writing? Journaling? Sewing? Crafting? Scrapbooking? Good old fashioned storytelling?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.