Sunday, December 1, 2013
As Time Goes By
It was back at the end of August that my grandmother found a magazine article all about patchwork quilts made out of vintage feedsack material. "Can you make one for me?" she asked over the phone as I flipped through the pages that she had sent to me so that I could see the photos. I assured her that I could make something similar out of reproduction prints, and a bundle of Storybook Classics by Windham Fabrics was quickly ordered. I had already started cutting out pieces to make a Swell quilt from Simply Retro by Camille Roskelley when I got the news that my book proposal had been accepted by Stash Books. "Never mind, darlin', there's no hurry," Grandma assured me when I fretted over getting her quilt done along with my book projects. "Just make it in time for Christmas," she added. I was able to sew together one block, and then the rest was set aside as I turned my mind and hands to other things.
Little did I know then what lay ahead. Over the past few months we have watched my grandmother spiral down into an unexpected and very serious state of dementia. After a painful and exhausting November, it's become clear that Grandma can no longer safely live alone in her home, so tomorrow we'll be moving her into a nursing home just ten minutes away from us where she can receive full time care. I wanted her to have something special for her new home, so this weekend I pulled out that bundle of Storybook Classics again and put together the simplest of patchwork quilts. Twelve inch blocks are bordered by a narrow strip of white and bound in a black and white dot print. I backed it in two different prints by Bonnie & Camille from their Vintage Modern and Marmalade collections. It may not be fancy, but the quilt is almost exactly what Grandma had originally wanted, and it will fit perfectly on her new bed. Tomorrow when we pick her up from the house she's lived in since she was a girl, I'll have the quilt waiting in the car so that she'll have something to look at during the drive to her new home.
I spent yesterday evening helping my parents fix up Grandma's new room, trimming a little Christmas tree with vintage style ornaments and decorating the walls with some of the quilts I've made for her over the past few years. As I drove home afterward listening to Christmas carols on the radio, I was suddenly overcome by tears. Even though we know that everyone grows up and gets older, you can never really prepare yourself for the reality of what that means. And even though we all talk about time getting away from us, I am stunned by how quickly life is going by each day...each year. It seems like just yesterday my parents were making Christmas for me and my sister, and now we're making it for our own daughters. In fact as I type this sentence, my girls are eagerly pulling at my sleeve and saying, "Is it time to decorate for Christmas, Mommy? We've been waiting soooo long!" Precious little girls -- they have no idea how quickly time can fly.
This December I plan to make the most of every moment...every single one. Won't you join me?