Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I finished the TRAINS quilt for my Great-Nephew. He's the youngest member of my entire family and has a passion for them.  I wasn't sure how this Log Cabin would turn out, but I really think it works. Until I took a picture of it, I couldn't see how the choices with black and the train print would work to balance out the wilder colors.  I fussy cut 12 train engines for the centers and made sure they would be directionally the same. It was a quilt that took a lot more thought.  This last year, I used the Log Cabin pattern many times and sincerely like how they all turn out.

I placed a train track border on it because I am sure he will love driving on the tracks, and just quilted on the outside of the yellow border for stability. I used a poly batting for ease in washing. The close-up shows one fabric that has train cars, another with signs and the third one has tracks.

This shows the back. Its quite a wild green with dots on it and it wasn't until I was stitching the binding that I noticed that the blue, the yellow and the red all have dots, so this fabric really coordinates better than I first realized.

Can it be a simple random choice or was I guided by something so beyond me that I will not even know? When we gift our quilts to someone, even if they send a warm note of gratitude, we release the quilt with our love and never really know what happens to it. This young boy may have thoughts that he never expresses to his parents. Thoughts can run the full gamut from pleasure and joy to a complete turnoff.  

These days when I receive a gift, I allow myself the full wonder of the love from the person sending it. I hold it close to me, take pleasure in the sight of it, the textures, the thought behind the kindness. 

It wasn't always so. There have been times in my life when I secretly laughed at what I held, secretly dismissed the gesture. I might have wanted more or thought I deserved better or different. And knowing this about myself, helps lighten my expectations when I ship a quilt off to someone in my family or my friends.

Few people understand how much work goes into making a quilt. Fewer people know that some of us put our souls into the creation, from the time we conceptualize it and select fabrics and patterns to the time we wrap it up and ship it off.

I realize now that those gifts I received over the years were either made or purchased with similar intents to share the love the giver had for me. Maybe it was an odd color, or maybe an odd object. I never stopped to think of them or why they chose what they did to express their love for me.

I will probably never know how Jackson will feel about this quilt. In my heart I am smiling. I can hope that it brings him joy and that at some distant time he remembers taking off the wrapping and feeling surprise that it was just for him...that some old Great-Aunt he barely remembers made it just for him.

My heart is smiling this morning too in remembering all the odd gifts, all the magnificent gifts, all the small treasures, all the warm extensions of love that everyone in my life has shared. Through TRAINS, I travel back in time and forward into the future connecting and being connected by love.