In my first year of marriage, I took a quilting class with a dear friend. She and I would drive to the local high school out at the beach every week, and learn about piecing, sashing, binding, and lots of other things I can’t remember right now. We spent hours at JoAnn’s together, picking out our fabrics and then would set up our sewing machines together on the table my grandparents gave Keith and me, the one that I had eaten Sunday lunches on for years and years. The quilt taught me how to be a tad bit more precise than my normal ways to get the star pieces to sort of fit together correctly, and my sashing never quite lined up the way it was supposed to, but in a few months time, I managed to piece the whole top together and sandwich it with the batting and back layer. The final quilting and binding were going to be saved for later.
And then I began my teaching job. And then we moved to a new city for Keith to go to seminary. And then I started to have babies. And that unfinished quilt sat in my hope chest for ten years. Ten years.
Fast forward a decade.
My mom came and visited the week before last. She brought her sewing machine and walking foot, set up shop on that same dining room table that I first began the quilt on, and lovingly started quilting the layers together. The days flew by, and there were more pressing needs of cuddles with her grandkids and nice chats with me over a glass of wine before she was able to finish binding it all up, so she took it home with her. Yesterday a big box arrived on my doorstep, and inside was this quilt. The one I began almost 11 years ago. I cannot believe it’s out of the hope chest and spread on my bed.
I know, without a doubt, it would never have been finished without my mom. I love that her stitching is intertwined with mine on this very first quilt. I love that those stitches were created on my grandma’s table. I love that it was begun during my first year of marriage and finished after a full decade of life events in between. I love that there is now more handmade art in my home, the good kind that tells a story.