Quilty Hugs

I scheduled this post to go live on August 30...the same day we're moving our oldest, Henry, into his freshman year college dorm room. This is one of those moments you always see other people experiencing but never really think your day will come. Well, as badly as I fought it, it did come. I truly am excited and thrilled for his future. His dreams of becoming a film director are taking flight. However, a heavy sadness resides deep inside knowing this season of life has come to an end. I truly thought it would last forever.

I think back when Henry was born and remember two very special quilts that I still cherish to this day. I wasn't a quilter at the time but the love for the art resided deep inside.

The first one was his crib quilt.

This quilt really has no special meaning as far as the hands who made it. I actually purchased it from Babies r Us when I was pregnant. I fell in love with the applique animals telling the story of Noah's ark. The reds, blues and greens were neutral in my mind at the time but, in reality, were perfect for a baby boy.

Those lions...oh, so precious! I even adored the tiny, vintage flowers in the fabric. It all just seemed so perfect for a newborn.

And of course, a baby quilt wouldn't be complete without hard shelled turtles and soft, woolly sheep. The day I brought this quilt home was the day I knew I'd cherish this store bought, manufactured quilt as if my own great grandmother had made it. Funny thing is, today it truly is cherished that much. Not only did my firstborn enjoy snuggles with this quilt but my youngest son did as well a few years later.

Another meaningful quilt that was personally crafted was given to us at the same time in our new chapter in life. This one was organized by Henry's grandmother.

This quilt tells of a true, family story. Some of the blocks were created from coloring pages that family members colored themselves. Others are beautifully appliqued. You'll notice a wildcat representing the paternal side of the family and a cardinal bird representing the maternal side. Thankfully our families get along quite well...until it comes to sports. Then we split to opposites sides!

You'll notice a fish from a fishing grandfather,

a duck from a two year old cousin,

and a lion from Uncle Daniel referencing Daniel and the lions' den, a hardworking beaver with a hammer in hand from his grandfather, and two gracious flamingos from his sweet aunt.

A bee and a camel give shout outs from the two grandmothers.

A delicate bird is quite special for it's from Henry's great grandparents. Nothing better than seeing 4 generations living at the same time!

Whether you quilt or not, I believe most people have a deep appreciation of how quilts are loved and cherished. You don't need to know how to piece and quilt and bind to know the unique stories and undescribable love that comes bound up in a quilt. So if you are a quilter, keep on loving. Keep on sending special quilty hugs to people you love. If you're not a quilter, never lose sight of the stories they tell. Protect them. Use them. And pass them on for future generations to carry on the stories.

Today I leave my son in a brand new world. And as I return home, everytime I see these quilts, I will think of him. I may even wrap them around me to feel a hug from afar.

Sending a hug your way,

Beth Ann

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