After having two boys, I saw myself as the mother of sons!
Even after an ultrasound informed my husband and I that our third child would most likely be a girl, we cautiously embraced the idea, while trying hard not to get our hopes up – just in case ;).
In preparation for the new baby, I wanted to make a quilt. But since my resources were limited, and I knew I would make a different type of quilt if the baby turned out to be a boy, I decided to wait until the new addition arrived before the quilt making began.
At this stage I had been quilting for about a year, and had made a small handful of quilts. It was playing with colour and pattern in quilt making that I was drawn to most, and the idea of making a distinctly feminine quilt was most enticing – I couldn’t help but contemplate design ideas in the months leading up to the birth, and a heart quilt seemed like the sweetest idea for a little girl!
In the winter of 1998, my husband and I officially welcomed our daughter into our family, and our world was showered in all things pink! Naturally it wasn’t long before I got to work on piecing my daughter a quilt made of – you guessed it, hearts (but only some of which were pink ;)!
At this stage in my life I had three children under the age of 2, which meant piecing the quilt was a slow process. The quilt top was almost complete when at 6-weeks old my daughter became extremely ill and she was taken into intensive care, where she spent the next week.
After a couple of days by her side (and with my hormones out of control), my husband and I decided it would be best to swap roles for an evening – he sat by her side, while I went home to spend some time with the boys. While I was playing with the boys, I looked over at the kitchen table and saw the heart blocks I had pieced waiting to be assembled into a quilt.
Later that evening when the boys were both asleep I completed the quilt top, and using fusible web, cut out some letters spelling my daughters name and adhered them to the border. The next day while I waited in the hospital, I blanket-stitched around each letter.
The night after that, I machine quilted the quilt and attached the first phase of the binding. This gave me another job to busy my fingers while I waited for my daughter to recover over the next few days, and eventually I decided because I had the time, I would hand quilt interlocking hearts into the outer border, which I did.
Looking back, this was the first time I used quilting as therapy!
When I think of that first heart quilt I made, it not only holds memories of my daughter and her first quilt, but it also holds memories of faith and healing, for both my daughter and I!
It was that need for therapy during a difficult period of my life in 2013 that reignited my desire to quilt after more than 10 years away from the craft.
Quilting truly IS remarkable therapy!!
I’m not sure those words alone truly express just how healing and cathartic quilt making can be, but when your mind is overflowing with stress and worry, the rhythm found in each quilt making step can be soothing and restorative.
Making this mini 18 years later, I am filled with gratitude for a pastime that fills my soul and brings me joy. I love how the quilts we make all have a story, even if we never put that story into words. Every quilt we make we associate with a time, or a feeling, or a person. A passionate quilt makers learns to see the beauty in every quilt and can unearth pieces of themselves and their history each time they step up to the cutting mat with a piece of fabric laid out before them.
If you would like to make your own Down Memory Lane Mini,
the PDF pattern is available to download now.
Do you have a heart quilt with a story?
Or does this quilt remind you of a story from your own life?
I would love for you to share!
Go. Cut. Sew. Create. And share your story with fabric and thread!
Thanks so much for stopping by – Samantha
PS. Since it is Valentine’s Day and I have been fortunate enough to be showered with love by my husband and children, I thought it would be nice to share some of that love with you; and because quilt patterns are my love language (and most likely yours) I have decided to email a PDF pattern of your choice from my catalogue, to the first three people that stop by and say hello :).
What a beautiful story!!!
Thank you Teresa! Since you were the first to drop by I will be sending you a pattern 🙂
That is a sweet story! Happy Valentines Day to you!
Thanks Misti – A pattern is heading your way 🙂
i hope it works this time.
Thank you 🙂
Misti -I tried to send you an email with the address you submitted but unfortunately the email bounced back with an ‘address not found’ error. There is a good chance your address may have a typo. If you drop by here again and see this please contact me and I will get a pattern to you.
I replied to the earlier post.
Kathy Fouch says
My daughter has a quilt which was made by a friend about 7 years ago. They share the same birthday. My daughter painted her house and helped her in so many ways. This lady is now 91 and living on the east coast but my daughter can’t see her quilt without thinking of the love they once shared.
What a lovely connection they must have! Thanks for sharing Kathy, I love hearing these sweet stories 🙂 I will be in touch shortly to send you a pattern.
Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts says
Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day! All my quilts tend to remind me of whatever was going on in my life at the time I made them. My memory can get a bit sketchy at times so that’s where the blogging comes in handy! Quilts can be a bit of a time capsule, holding memories and emotions. They’re pretty special.
They ARE a time capsule, aren’t they?! You are definitely right about the advantages of using a blog as a journal of your creations – it is something I definitely want to get better at (that, and labeling the back of my quilts, LOL!) Thanks for dropping by Kirsty! x
Pam L says
This story touched my heart. I made my first quilt for my sister the year my beloved mom passed away. I didn’t realize how therapeutic it would be for both of us. I thought of my mom, then my grandmothers with every stitch I took. I ended up drawing out the process because it felt like I had the three of them sitting by my side as I made this quilt. I didn’t want that to end. Here I am, three years later, fat quarters, charm packs, jelly rolls, and yards of fabric later, finding myself sitting at my sewing machine at least for a little while every day, smiling at the memories of the things my mom and grandmothers taught me. I will never stop making quilts. It makes my heart so happy.
Thank you for sharing your story here. I do love the heart quilt and will make one to hang by my sewing machine.
I love how our quilts can hold such precious memories and connect us to those we love. I think it is truly special that when you quilt you feel connected to your mother and grandmother. Thank you for sharing your story Pam!
What a beautiful story. I couldn’t stop reading. I have quilts from my grandmother and great grandmother, but the one thing that is missing is the story. Oh how I wish I could ask them how they cut those perfect hexagons and how they had the time to hand sew them together. My sun bonnet Sue is from my grandma (born in 1889) and I’m grateful my mom named me Sue!
I am also really conscious about how to preserve these quilt stories for the future. What a blessing it must be to have pieces of you heritage in the form of your quilts. I hope my own grandchildren cherish something I have made one day!