Thursday, March 05, 2009

The Retired Quilt

Now it seems a little faded, a bit tired. It’s a little thinner now, five years after I made it, and it’s been replaced by a bigger, brighter quilt I just finished.

The retired quilt is noted as “Avery’s Quilt” in my sewing journal. Avery was my first pick name for the baby I was carrying as I made it. Crib size, it came from a quilt shop pattern called “Crazy Baby” which was an ingenious method of stacking eight fabric squares together, cutting them in random shapes and then shuffling the fabrics back together so each square was different. I started with the alphabet fabric border first, and then had fun mixing and matching the muted primary colors for the squares. I know I picked the alphabet fabric partly because Hayden, then just two, was crazy about everything alphabet. Alphabet blocks, stickers, magnets, cookie cutters, the boy who learned the alphabet in a week at 21 months was on fire!

I ended up liking the quilt quite a bit as I finished it, and spent quite a bit of time re-configuring the color placement. Now I look at it and wish I had done the quilting differently, it’s all stitch in the ditch, and as such, adds nothing, and doesn’t even make the shapes pop out better. I do remember finding solace in the act of making it that last month of that pregnancy, dealing as I was with nausea, heartburn, a sideways and/or upside down baby and painful varicose my toes! Not to mention the close quarters of sharing the house with my parents who stayed with us for that last month.

But finally, that sideways upside down baby, Graham Thomas, was born via c-section. Home from the hospital I stitched the binding in place and once he was ready for the big milestone of a big boy bed, “Avery’s Quilt” became his.

It seems like we are facing a lot of milestones of independence these days; Graham started Level One swim lessons this week, his first foray away from the “parent and child” class. The sight of him, bare chested, sitting on the bench clear across the pool, tugs my emotions in opposite directions. I’m filled with pride at his courage and autonomy, and with bittersweet sadness now that my baby is no longer at my side, or in my arms.

As for his retired quilt, I guess I’ll give it a wash and gently fold it up, to find a home at the linen closet at the end of the hall.

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