Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: the Hand-me-down Quilt
By Fay Ternan
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The pennies, nickels and dimes required to invest in the project come together slowly. When the change jar is full, she counts it out and renews her hunt for the materials she will need. Each find is carefully washed, examined for flaws, cut to size and stored as the search goes on.
Finally there are pieces enough to make the quilt. Transferring them to the floor, she shifts the pieces from one place to another, forming the picture she’s held in her mind so long. The process continues as she sews pieces to shapes, shapes into blocks and blocks into rows. Needle in, needle out, stitch after stitch, she prays for the child she loves.
A border is added to the quilt top, the batting and backing are cut and sandwiched together for the “quilting” part of the process. Again, with each flash of the needle, she prays for the life of her daughter, for peace, joy and love.
On her daughter’s birthday, the quilt is given but takes a back seat to the toys and clothes and other gifts. The next day it is on her bed where it is used for years. It is the wall of the fort under the table, the comforter of choice when ill, a place to sit and talk with friends and, occasionally, it travels to campouts or overnight events.
All too soon, the daughter is off to college, leaving the quilt behind. It has a new job as it comforts the mother who waits for her return. She notices the loosening of the seams and places where the fabric is showing signs of wear. Remembering the process and prayers in its construction, she thanks God for answered prayers, patches the quilt where necessary and puts it away until it is needed.
In the years that pass, the daughter completes school, finds work, gets married and has her own home. The quilt remains stored until the news comes that a baby girl is expected. It is unwrapped, inspected, cleaned again and given new wrapping. Another generation will be blessed by the giving of this handmade treasure.
This time, the prayers of mother and daughter come together to ask God’s blessings on the new baby. In unity, they ask for His guidance, protection and love to surround her. When the new baby comes home, the quilt is wrapped around her, providing warmth and comfort as it did for her mother.
Even as each stitch in and out of the fabric binds each piece of fabric to the next, the gift links mother, daughter and granddaughter. A practical expression of love and a work of faith create a hand-me-down legacy to pass on to the next generation.
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