You need just a bit of backstory and there are quite a few pictures, so give me a few minutes to get it together.
My middle son and his wife are expecting a baby Sept 28. (yipee!!) When my boys were born, my mother made them each a quilt - a large piece of fabric which she embroidered, backed with a quilted fabric and bound with satin. So when my oldest son had his first child (my fabulous DGS), I gave my son his 'box'. In the box were baby clothes, his quilt, woobies, childhood treasures that I saved for him. His quilt was well-loved, but not in bad shape. My middle son's quilt was tragic - most of the embroidery was gone, stained and the binding was coming off. He literally loved it to death.
I couldn't give it to him like this, so I decided to take it apart and re-do it. As it was, it was a wonderful memory of my mother, but not much else. So I have spent the last couple of weeks restoring this sad quilt to something else. There wasn't always stitching left, but I tried to stay close to the colors that I had - the ones my mother used.
I couldn't find and decent looking pre-quilted fabric and I wanted to stay with the spirit of the quilt, so I went searching for another option for the back. I bought a really cute striped fleece - of course, when I bought it, it never occurred to me that the stripe would show through. Not going to work.
Then I found this stuff and Joann's - I think it's called Soft and Cuddly. And it's awesome!! I want a woobie out of this stuff. Soft & Cuddly it is. It feels just cozy - perfect for my new grandson.
So here we go - the finished front with blue binding. The yellow was eye-searing and I just couldn't do it. I'm sure my mother would approve of the blue. She loved my boys and I just know she would love the fact that this quilt will get a brand new baby to love.
Oh, and I will NEVER do another satin binding. Koudos to my mother for doing three of them for my boys and countless others for family and friend's babies.
This was a lovely, emotional project for me. First, my wonderful son who is 31 now and definitely NOT a baby - but pulling out his box of things made the baby days seems not so long ago. All of his sweet little things - and the dreaded sailor suit (which made the cutest picture ever - 3 little boys in sailor suits just too cute!)
Then stitching where my mother stitched - literally in the same holes as her needle stitched. There were evenings when poor DH thought I was losing it. I'd sit in the corner of the sofa stitching and sniffling, all teary-eyed. But I felt my mother sitting over my shoulder watching my stitches and whispering in my ear "Keep the back neat now, Lynn".
My son will love it. He's a very big guy, 6'6" and very strong, but soft and gooey on the inside. He will love it because it was his and his beloved Grandmudder made it for him and he will love it that it looks new again for his soon-to-be son.
That was my restoration project. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and the story. I have been on an emotional roller coaster and have loved every minute of it.
Lynn, what a wonderful tribute to your Mom, she really taught you well, you are magical with a needle. What a wonderful way to join three generations of the family, I just hope it will be saved when baby grows out of it
Lynn, that quilt & story are both just beautiful. I know your mother would be so proud of you for what you have done. It certainly looks like your DS loved that quilt & I know your DGS will do likewise. Thanks for sharing that beautiful quilt & story with us.
We live in the home of the free...because of the brave.
Thank you all so much. I hesitated at first, I was afraid my son wouldn't like the fact that I ripped out my mother's stitching. But now that it's finished, I'm so glad I did it - not only for him and his son, but for me. I could almost feel my mother beside me the entire time I stitched and I had a very difficult time putting it down to work on other things.
The baby shower is this Saturday and it was my plan to take this, wrapped of course, and give it to my DIL so that she could deliver it to my son. I thought I might handwrite a note and enclose a 'before' picture of the quilt. But I think I will deliver it in person. I want to be there when he opens it up. Selfish, I know, but I think I've earned it.
That is such a wonderful story! I can't thank you enough for sharing it. It is heartwarming that the quilts your mother made have so much value to you and your family. You did a wonderful job restoring your mothers work.
What a special story and memories. Thank you so much for allowing us to hear this. I am sure everything will turn out for the best, How could they not? He will be overwhelmed with your gift. Beautiful work. I wish I could tell my Mother all the things I do and have done. That I have followed in her footsteps, though she passed when I was nine. But I know somewhere in heaven she is looking down and she knows.~~~~~~ nuquiltr
Well, the quilt is all boxed up. On top of the tissue paper is a letter I wrote to my son (ok, typed ). I told him about the process of re-doing the quilt, I shared some memories of my mother and of him when he was small. I wished him joy in this new path his life is going to take and I enclosed the 'before' picture. It's sure to make him cry - it made me cry typing it. But I'm going to give it to him, not take it to the shower. I made a cute whale quilt for the baby along with a ton of other things, so the DIL will be happy. This is a special gift to my son. A gift from my heart.
Thank you all for your words on my story. I think every mother here shared a tear at the sentimentality of the whole thing. And that's a good thing, right?
Now to look forward to the joy of another grandson. As my grandson tells everyone - "My mom-mom is awesome. She's a food genius, she plays in the dirt, she's not afraid of snakes and she knows about bugs". What higher recommendation can there be?
Thank you so much for sharing your story and pictures with all of us. One of my "babies" turns 29 today. Lots of wonderful memories and your story just adds some more! So glad you posted this! Thanks, Susan
Posts: 600 | Location: West Central Ohio, USA | Registered: Dec 28, 2002
I too want to thank you for the story. The quilt looks terrific and now it will have another life. My DS is 31..born June '81. I would make him a quilt in a heartbeat but he's in a hot climate. I wish I could be at the shower!!!
Posts: 9063 | Location: Always Moving A Bit | Registered: Jan 27, 2003
You've got me sniffling! What a wonderful project, and I bet your son will be sniffling too. Be sure to add a box of tissues to the package! And please- let us know how he likes it, and update with a picture of your new grandson, maybe au naturale in the ubiquitous "bearskin rug pose?? Nothing vital exposed of course. Newborns are so precious! Congratulations!
Well the shower was today and I gave my son the quilt. He didn't recognize it at all. He read the letter and he took me aside to tell me what a wonderful gift it was and how much he appreciated the effort it took. He's a good son. He told me that he looks forward to seeing his new son under his blanket. And yes, he teared up.
Oh goodness, made me all teary eyed! Time does fly right by. As I read about you looking thru his box and feeling like the baby days weren't so long ago, just makes me pause and appreciate these days. My 7 year old starts 2nd grade on Tuesday, my middle child (who we thought was the baby of the family) starts Kindergarten! And I just cuddled my 2 year old son (who was our surprise baby) to sleep. I can't imagine them as adults and yet I know its only a few short blinks away.
Your grandson will love that satin binding! It is such a beautiful treasure! Good job Grandma!
What an incredible story Lynne. I know exactly how you felt remaking your son's quilt. My daughter has a 28 yr old quilt my grandmother made for her and I have remade it several times and had those same feelings of stitching where my grandmother stitched. She sleeps with it every night & has taken it on every trip she has taken until it is getting smaller & smaller ! I know your heart was full while you were working on it and now that he has the blanket for his son it is even more a treasure. You are a masterful stitcher for sure with a big heart.