Textile Therapy

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I've mentioned before that I quilt, right?

It is no secret that when Emily was a baby, I struggled with post partum depression. For three years. BAD DEPRESSION. One of the ways I expressed my love for her was to make quilts for her. I think it was my way of telling her - with a snuggly quilt- that I loved her and wanted to protect her, when I couldn't express that any other way.

I would make her one quilt per month. She would bring these to child care for her nap time. They all had pillows to match. I think some moms thought I was trying to show off , but that wasn't it, at all. This was my way of telling my child that I loved her. That I cherished her. These were my textile arms, my fabric embraces.

As I have been cleaning in the basement, I found the buckets with her quilts. They are all being packed and taken with us. I dream of wrapping my grandchildren in these someday.

January:
Has two quilts. The snowflake and the polar bear quilt. Cause you never know what you'll need in January in New England. I think I made the polar bear one first and then saw the second fabric and thought "We need color in January"....




February:
The ballerina pigs cracked me up. I mean, honestly.


March:
The I spy quilt. This quilt is HUGE. Each square was cut to display a unique item. The teachers in her one year old classroom used to spread this out and play I spy with the Toddlers.


April is a mystery. I am not sure what quilt was made for April. I assume it is around here somewhere...Could be the TinkerBell Quilt....

May:
The birthday cake quilt for her birthday. The frogs are flying fairy frogs. I had intended to applique candles on each year, but never quite made it. This one has lace as the edge of the frosting on the cake.



June:
Teddy Bears and Honey bees. I was at the Shaker Village herb garden days with Emily one year and some one asked me if I sold these quilts. I was shocked. I didn't think anyone would be interested in my quilts. Plus, I view quilts as highly personal items. I have only given two in my life. One for my mother when Emily was born - a grandmother's quilt. One for my sister for her high school graduation - one I called "The Pond" It was a masterpiece - each block was unique and done in a crazy log cabin style. It made the blues, purples and greens shimmer. I plan one making on for my brother when he marries (Give me some advance notice in the event that this will happen, Donnie).


July:
Patriotic frogs and fish. This will be the only red/white/blue thing I make in my life, so take a good look.


August:
The Gardening Gals. This was one of my most ambitious quilts. The pattern kicked my ass, but was stunning. My friend Jessica referred to this pattern as my new "Signature" pattern. As you can see, I use lots of color. I like a riot of color. I want my quilts to glow in a room. No drab colors!


September. Another mystery. There is an apple quilt Somewhere in this house...

October:
Two quilts for October. The first was just a rail fence pattern. the second was a "magic carpet" pattern with the cutest Cats in Masquerade. Those are one inch squares of 11 fabrics. I had to bust my ass to find enough fabric for that quilt. The fabric was long discontinued when I found it.


November:
Harvest - one of the most demure quilts I ever made!


December:
Santas around the world.


Looking back on that time in my life, I try to not regret the emotional void that I lived in for most of those years, feeling like a terrible mother - a bad person. In these quilts, I see me as a good mother, trying to express love in non-verbal ways. These quilts offer me redemption, just as they offered Emily comfort and love.

28 Baleful Regards:

sweatpantsmom said...

My gawd, these are beautiful! I would pay serious money for one of these if I saw them in a store.

Okay, so you write, quilt, going for your masters - what else do you do, woman? Are you an astronaut, too?

Nancy said...

Dawn, that's amazing. I can barely sew a button on. But I get, completely, the whole concept that drove you to create the quilts. And it's obvious by their beauty what an amazing mother you were -- and still are, of course.

Heather said...

I have no doubt they'll be treasured for years to come. They're very impressive.

motherhooduncensored said...

Good Lord woman. Those are amazing. She'll treasure them always. Or at least at some point... You know kids...

Sugarmama said...

Okay, I quilt, too, which is why I am shocked and amazed and so very impressed that you managed to knock out one--and sometimes two!--quilts per month. And I thought I was a productive mama! I'm still struggling to finish 2 matching twin bed quilts for when my 2 girls share a room sometime next year. Hopefully I'll get them done in time...

Awesome Mom said...

Those are very beautiful!!! I think that creating things like that are wonderful ways to show your kids that you love them. I have knit blankets for each of my kids (well I am still working on the one for the baby)

Mommy off the Record said...

One quilt a MONTH?! That is awesome. What wonderful heirlooms those will be for your children and grandchildren.

oshee said...

They are beautiful quilts. I am so proud of you for having found a means of expressing your love in a very real physical way, when you were unable to do in traditional ways. So, when you look at those quilts..see them as signs of not just surviving but loving the best you could.

C.ELLA said...

The quilts are beautiful. I'm always envious of people who can create with their hands.

C.ELLA said...

This may be one that she doesn't care why. My boys don't mind if the dog sniffs their crotch and lingers. They never have asked why, but I have. Little pervs.

Andrea said...

Very impressive that you were able to do this for her. I was doing well in the first three weeks of my son's life if I remembered to eat. And these quilts are tangible proof that you loved Emily then, even if things were wonky in the chemical department. What a legacy to wrap her and her children in.

Fraulein N said...

Those are lovely. What a wonderful thing, that you found a way to express your love for your daughter.

mama_tulip said...

Wow, Dawn. Those are beautiful.

Mignon said...

NOW I get the organized chaos that is your half of the bedroom! You're amazing...

Diana said...

Beautiful. Great outlet there...
My son was given a quilt when he came home from the hospital with his name and birthdate on it. I treasure it, knowing that my friend was home working on its finishing touches while i was in the hospital. I know Emily will treasure those quilts.

Jess Riley said...

Those quilts are fantastic. My grandma recently showed me a quilt that had been handed down in the family for at least a hundred years. Such history & art... and such a fantastic outlet.

mothergoosemouse said...

Absolutely beautiful. Amazing fabrics.

I'm contemplating making quilts for the girls using squares from clothes they've outgrown. Obviously I'll wait a few years until both of them have fully outgrown everything. Any quilting for dummies type books you would recommend?

TB said...

It's hard to choose, but I think the first October quilt is my favorite. Emily will have these to give to her own children and grandchildren someday, you know. What an incredible legacy.

Elizabeth said...

I'm just knocked out by this. One quilt a MONTH? I tried to make a "Flying Geese" baby quilt when Nathan was born, got all the strips cut and partially sewed, and then the class ended and I never finished it. Maybe I should finish it for Kaitlyn.

Melissa said...

*delurking*

Those are beautiful quilts, and I know the feelings of not quite being able to express your love to your kids any other way sometimes. (I take my meds every day too!)

Okay, but two a month? Maybe once my latest medicine decides to work I can get back at more productive quilting. The monster I'm working on right now is making me want to tear my hair out at the moment. Although I must say, baby quilts are much more manageable, and the ones I made my kids are more precious to me than any of the larger projects I have done.

Congratulations on your accomplisments and for giving your kids such memories.

Tiffany said...

You are a multi talented woman. Your daughter is lucky to have you and im sure she will appreciate your gesture in the years to come.

Beth said...

these. are. beautiful.

can you teach me? please? over brunch? huh?

Marcie said...

My god woman! Is there anything you can't do!?

Mom101 said...

Wow, you've made heirlooms! Family heirlooms! That's something to be crazy proud of.

the other mrs. b said...

Yeah, I thought you were nuts when you made them - I had no idea where you found the time - and now -with one year of motherhood under my belt - I definately have no idea where you found the time. I do, however, understand your extention of love. Some day Emily will treasure and fawn over these quilts - just as we did when you created them. She will feel the love stitched within.

E. said...

I echo all the other commenters in saying both "beautiful!" and "how did you find the time?"

I've made one quilt in my life, for my baby cousin when I was sixteen. It took me the whole summer to finish it. I'd like to do another one someday...

Izzy said...

I'm quite partial to August. Honestly, I bow down to anyone that can sew. I own a sewing machine and we have a very adversarial relationship, at best.

Your quilts are beautiful. I hope Emily treasures them forever. I have a ton that my Grandma made and I wish to be cremated in one...lol

Mommygoth said...

Holy crap, those are AMAZING. That is a gift, girl.

 
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