Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saving A Beloved 40 yr old Quilt

What to Do? Where to start? This Quilt was given to me by my mom when I was a child.
that is it's 1st memory. Then the most difficult memory for this quilt-is my 1st child -my son has 1of his only photos taken on this quilt. He died shortly after the photo was taken back in 1978. The quilt was `washed & packed' away by others. They must have used bleach & harsh detergents as the backing had a HUGE white spot on the back. All these years it has been in my linen closet. I take it out & hold it. You know .... & remember what little time he was here. I have taken the quilt to my sewing studios several times. As the years have gone by the cotton has seem to `crumble' in my hands? Hmmmm. so... what to do? After reading every quilting book I own... I feel ready to fix the poor thing. I began by taking out anything that had holes in it.... auugggghhh it was sooo hard... it negan to make sense.. it was the same square-pretty much-so the material must have been not `time worthy' I guess. I will show photos. of where I am at.
Now I am at a place-with the quilt - where I have it apart TOTALLY. -Sorted squares-ironed-starched EVERY PIECE--carefully handled each piece- took the backing off & the batting & binding, I had so many pieces. The backing was pretty much a total loss thru the entire center-auughhh.....after cutting out bad spots-and taking out the bad fabric.... I was reduced to tears and a ziploc bag of starched squares & a couple bins of beautiful BUT cut up QUILT. AUUGHH...this may be several wall hangings? my hands were shaking my scissors will never be the same.
Now, to the fabric store of which there is 1 in my very rural area to purchase so`stabilizer'-this was just days before Christmas. When I attempted to for advice I tried to explain the `story of my quilt' and suddenly tears welled up in my eyes & my throat closed up as I told my story, It was a deary cold day & as I looked up I saw staff in tears-several customers in tears- several staff recounted their personal stories of the loss of children... a large woman ran up to me telling me I had a `flock of Angels' over me & that I will see my child in heaven 1 day & he is being cared for by the Heavenly Father & as suddenly as she appeared she was gone. Hugs by strangers, more tears. The dear woman at the checkout told me how she lost a young child also & in spite of it she has a daughter that she has not heard from in many years...what is more painful she ask? she lost both in a manner in speaking. I understand. This entire time I was barely able to speak due to a lump in my throat-from the 1st time I was asked what I needed-and I babbled about my dear quilt that was falling apart. As I was about to leave the store the woman came around the counter and threw her arms around me & hugged me tightly.I am not sure if the hug was more for me or for her? before I left they asked if I would Please to come back & let them know how the quilt comes out? Yes , My Pleasure.
Hmmm. God finds ways to connect people & to touch & heal Hearts. I have thought about this little shopping trip often. How I was closed up in my winter coat just to pop in to get 1 item & go. I forgot my eye glasses & I could not see so I had to ask for help, (how much I hate to pdat) How that set me up to explain my `quilt story & my son', how in the past 30 years I have not shared my story to many inside or outside the family. Actually, it is something that I just kind of `grieve' with alone on his birthday & the day he died. As the Ladies shared their stories of loss I could see that it does not get easier as time goes by. It just becomes more bearable. We are part of the walking wounded-you can look right at us and never know just how terribly broken our hearts are. But-God gave us an inner strength. God as served me well, He has been at me side always-it has not always been easy, and some 30 years later I can say I am tired..... those who have walked in this path will understand.
I left with my package. Not until later did I actually look and see what I had purchased. I went in to get some type of `stabilizer' & left with a `flock of sewing friends & a memory that will stay with this quilt. oh you know what they never charged me for the tube of stabilizer... just the thread.

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