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 :).