have you ever been given a gift that didn't just tug at your heart strings, but pulled & pulled them hard? several years ago i got married... i remember we were at a bridal shower for me. surrounded by many of our nearest & dearest. the next gift in the pile read "love, mom", & i was excited to see what she had chosen for me. a waffle iron? that kitchen-aid i'd been eyeing? bed linens? towels perhaps? you never know what you're going to get from my mom, she's always liked surprising us kids. so, when the present finally arrived in my lap, i tore into it, as eager as a child on christmas morning. totally expecting some BIG item off my registry, you can imagine my surprise when i found a blanket beneath all that beautiful wrapping paper. that surprise quickly changed to joy, love & a plethora of other feelings as i realized what i was holding. i had known she had been working on a special project, but i had had no idea it would be this. (click on picture to enlarge)
now, to the untrained eye, this appears to be simply a blanket, you might even go so far as to call it a quilt. but if you were to really study it, you would realize that it is made of clothes. you might even notice a clothing label or two, perhaps a shirt pocket, a couple of buttons, even a logo or two. and to you, the untrained eye, this might seem a bit odd. but for me, a soon-to-be-bride, it meant the world. for each & every square, each piece of clothing portrayed a memory. there were the pjs my dad wore nearly every day, his work shirts & golf shirts, bits of the shirts he wore to church on sundays... pieces of his life. (click on picture to enlarge)
and once you realize & understand that i knew my dad wouldn't be there with me, celebrating my big day, having this quilt, meant that i would always have a piece of him with me, & that meant more than anything, i'll ever be able to put into words.
just recently, actually for christmas, gavin & owen each received their own special blankets from my mom. once again, the gifts were a total surprise. this time around instead of using clothes, her medium was photos. using pictures of everyone in our family (that she had printed on fabric), she made the boys (& my niece kate too) their own patchwork blankets. the kids spend a little time, every day, just looking, pointing & naming everyone in each of the pictures. now, even though we don't live as close as we like, we always have family with us. (click on picture to enlarge)
it's been said that "our lives are like quilts - bit & pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love." i for one definitely agree, & have at least three quilts to prove it.