Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Of Traditions, Family and Quilts

When I was born, my great-aunt gave me a quilt. A pink baby quilt for
the latest pink baby girl. She felt a special affinity towards me
since we shared the same birthday. Plus, what's not to love about an
awesome grand-niece?

My mom had her own set of quilting frames that my dad had custom-made
for her that fit perfectly in our very small living room. There was
almost always a quilt in some state of progress in our little house.
As a kid with an active imagination, a quilt on frames was a robbers'
hide-out, an Indian tipi, a cavalry fort, a whatever I wanted it to

It was also a lesson in service and tradition. While hiding out in my
fort or tipi, my mother would have me help her push the
heavily-ladened needles through the other side and push them back up
for her. Very few of those quilts were ever for our immediate family.
They were given as wedding gifts, as baby gifts, or to someone not
fortunate enough to have warm blankets. Any one of my siblings getting
married received a quilt as a house-warming/wedding gift. As each new
grandchild was welcomed into the family, he or she received a quilt
from grandma and grandpa.

Special occasions or milestones warranted a new quilt also. I got a
quilt when I turned eight, again for my twelfth birthday, and an extra
warm one as I left for my first year of college in the frozen tundra
of south-east valley of Idaho.

Though my mom has since passed on, the tradition continues. I received
from my sisters what is perhaps one of the very coolest gifts I have
ever received. There was a lot of thought, love, time and effort put
into a quilt that my sisters all collaborated on. They found out from
my friends that I love Mary Poppins and the silhouette of the London
skyline as she floats into the Banks' children lives.

They took those ideas and ran with it, turning them into a quilt that
is, in my opinion, worthy to be entered into any contest. And take
first place.

I love it. I love the quilt, I love the design, the colors, the
thought and planning that has gone into it, the details, and above
all- the love that went into it.

I'll post a better picture when get I to it. Meanwhile, this one was
taken as I was opening the box late last night. Not a great quality
photo, but not even that can dim the beauty of this gift.

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