27 August 2016

a quilt

Years ago, as my son began to grow out of his soccer shirts, I started collecting them, with the grand idea of one day making him a t-shirt quilt when I was no longer a soccer momma.  The day came for his last game, and I decided to make the quilt for his high school graduation.

He graduated two years and 3 months ago....

My quilting and sewing friends would choke if they had seen my process.  First I hacked up the shirts; and when I say hacked, I'm being pretty literal.  There was no measuring, no templates, no planning...just the shirts, a pair of scissors, and me.  Then, overwhelmed and a little discouraged, I put them in a bag in a closet for awhile...a long while.  I had an idea of what I wanted but no real idea how to accomplish it, or even how to describe it to one of my quilting friends who could help me.

Sometime later, I pulled the bag out of the closet and managed, with the help of my mother (God bless her, she didn't laugh or look horrified at what I had done), to get the pieces looking presentable and ready for quilting, which I then did, a little at a time, on my sewing machine.  Quilting on a sewing machine is tedious and awkward and not recommended (I see you quilters and sewing geniuses nodding sagely and rolling your eyes).

So, today I finished this quilt.  It was probably a four year process, all told.  It comes complete with blood - those straight pins are really sharp! - sweat,  and maybe not tears, but I confess, a few swear words.  How did I keep going?  Well...the heads of the straight pins were so colourful and shiny!  Also, an occasional glass of wine....

Up close, it isn't pretty.  There are puckers in the fabric.  There isn't a straight seam to be found.  Multiple seams were ripped out and resewn - still crooked.  A work of fine art, this quilt is not.

But it is a work of another kind:  a work of memories, of closure, of learning, of perseverance.  It's a work of the heart, of concern, prayers, and a momma's affection for her boy.  It's a work full of a mother's pride, hope, wishes, and dreams for her son.  It's a work of abiding love.

I hope he likes it.

17 August 2016

goodbye to the girl

I said goodbye to the girl today.

I remember when the realization struck me that I was carrying, not just another baby, but a completely unique individual in my womb...I was awestruck.

As an infant...so serious; she was an observer, a thinker.

As a toddler...her huge brown eyes would well up with a mere look; even then her heart was soft, and a look was often all she needed to mend her ways.

As a preschooler and elementary student...she strove for peace with all her dear sweet heart, seeking to forge relationship and connection; bewildered if her efforts failed.

As an adolescent and teenager...always marching to her own drummer, she sought out the unpopular, refused to be bound by cliques; she reached across lines to offer friendship to everyone.

She is confident enough to sit by herself in a coffee shop...to wear all kinds of hats...to colour her hair outrageously (blue, red, purple)...to enter a group setting alone.  She carries such empathy, feels things deeply, and loves others well.  She gives of herself thoughtfully, freely, generously...ah, she's beautiful.

I said goodbye to the girl today...my sweet, courageous, fabulous girl. It's with our beloved Jesus that she goes, safest in his hand; and that is how I can let her go.

Oh my heart...be brave.