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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Show and Tell - Handmade Love

My mother is a quilter. This one of the ways she creates love with her hands. We all do, in different ways and her love of quilting has been a lifetime evolution. I remember as a little girl nearing the kitchen and smelling the wafting odor of dye as she prepared wool for her hooked rugs. She taught me to crochet, once-upon-a-moon, and although she did her best to enstill the love of all things needle based with me, alas - it just isn't my creative outlet.

But it is most definately hers. I could tour my house and show you quilts of past: the one she made for me in college that has four distinct corners, personalizing the bed covering with my loves and my traits is my favorite. Our wedding quilt is stunning - it is a spring bed quilt, thin but cozy, nearly enough to convince me to stay under the covers all day long on a fair spring day.

But the quilts she makes for the kids are - far and away - the ones that inspire me most. With each pregnancy she began the quilt early on so that, by the time of delivery the only thing left to do was embroider our sweet girl's name and birthdate.

This is Emma's.

She is buried in it; swaddled in the love that Nana made. The perimeter is bunnies, following - chasing each other around and around quilt. I wanted her buried in this - really I did, but I found myself missing it: it's colors, the bunnies, the fact that is had been hers.

And so, for Christmas my mother made a miniature wall hanging with the leftover fabric.

It hangs on my bedroom wall, to the left of our bed. She is with us all the time - she always is, but this helps. And I often find myself thinking about how putting Emma's name and birthday was supposed to be a joyous time. It would mean that she was here, finally - the first grandchild, a most wanted child.

Instead, Nana, after being called from her classroom and shocked with the news that her grandchild had died, sitting with us all night, holding sweet Emma after her 3:30am delivery - went home to embroider each letter and number in the wee hours of the morning. I imagine each consonant brought a new wave of pain, each vowel another shower of disbelief, each digit a reminder of the day that it all went wrong.

It's hard to see the letters - but they are there: EMMA GRACE.

Forever missed - forever loved - wrapped eternally in love, made at her Nana's hands.

Now, click on over and see what the rest of the class is show and telling.


Raggedy Ann said...

What a beautiful post. I love quilts. Emma Grace has a very special grandmother.

Dora said...

Beautiful. Love in every stitch.

ezra'smommy said...

Oh my, its gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

It's so very beautiful! ITA with Dora, love in every stitch!!!!

Martha said...

This is so beautiful as is your mom.

Beautiful Mess said...

Oh Cara, how beautiful! I am so glad you have a mini quilt of Emma's. That's so sweet. Emma has a very special Nana and Nana has a very special granddaughter. You all are very lucky.

Anonymous said...

You constantly inspire me in the ways that you have brought your daughter with you as you move through your life.

Another Dreamer said...

It is beautiful. This post is very moving, you brought tears to my eyes. I agree with Dora, love in every stitch. Cara, thank you for sharing this with us.

Hope's Mama said...

This is so beautiful Cara. Thank you.

Kristin said...

Both the original and the smaller version she made for you are amazing! I love the way you tell your touching and inspiring.

beebles said...

that is very special...i am so glad your mother had scraps enough to make you such a beautiful gift

The Steadfast Warrior said...

WHat a truly touching gesture your Mom made by recreating the quilt in the wall-hanging. Both are truly stunning.

battynurse said...

That's beautiful. I'm fascinated by quilting and trying to teach myself how to do it.

WiseGuy said...

Beautiful! So much detailing and such great finishing!

Bluebird said...

I love this. I love quilts. I so wish someone in my family quilted. I love them on so many levels. Thank you for sharing.

Brenna said...

My mom is also a quilter and I know how much they mean--so much careful effort and attention goes into the creation of each quilt. I just love Emma's, and love it that her Nana made it for her and that it's with her still.

Dalene said...

That is so beautiful...and heartbreaking to me.

Cassandra said...

Those are beautiful quilts, and it's beautiful that you now have a mini-version to remind you of the one that is swaddling Emma.

The thought of your mother coming home from the hospital and embroidering the name and date is so touching.

Anonymous said...

It is beautiful. What a wonderful Nana she has.

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