When I was pregnant with our second son, I decided to learn how to quilt. Always eager to work with my hands, I think I was desperate to get this skill learned before it was too late, realizing it would be a long time before I'd get the chance to do much of that with a four-year-old and an infant to care for.
In a downtown quilt shop the clerk helped me pick out fabric to match the little houses on the border of our oldest son's bedroom wallpaper since he was moving out of the nursery into his own big-boy bed. Their quilting class taught me the basics and then I was on my own.
Determined, I labored long over this project, getting as much done as possible before our son was born. I kept bringing it out at night after the boys fell asleep and brought it with me whenever we had a road trip that lasted more than half an hour.
Often hesitant to take time for myself, I felt that it was OK to keep working on it because this little quilt became my way of remembering who I was...a young woman who needed to express herself through something that was permanent. I think I might have forgotten if there hadn't been some concrete, hands-on way to remind myself!
Well, time moved on and several years later we moved from that house... but I didn't leave the quilt behind. I kept bringing it out and slowly made progress.
After eleven years I finally completed the hand quilting and binding on this little treasure.
I have started and completed many quilts since then. Among them, two were wedding gifts to our children and three celebrated the births of our grandchildren. But this quilt will always remain special. It kept me grounded and creating in the midst of the sometimes overwhelming task of motherhood. It stands as a testimony to the power of perseverance, self-care and self-expression.