My mother, Susan, has always been crafty. Not in the sneaky sense, silly! Crafts like sewing, knitting and counted cross stitch. She was always drawn to the idea of quilting, and first gave it a try with a little assistance from my grandmother (her mother-in-law). “Nothing to it,” my grandma told her. “Just sew two pieces of fabric together, and then add another, and another and another!”
Sounds easy enough. Her first attempt didn’t go so well, though. Disappointed with the fabric she had available, Susan abandoned the project and dropped the idea.
In 1975, she decided to give it another try. It seems a surprising time to me, as my brother, my sister and I would have been 5, 3, and 1. I think if I had three kids those ages, I would spend the few moments not folding laundry or pouring cups of juice hiding in a closet. Not my industrious mother. She found time for a beginner level quilting class at a nearby church. With her knack for handiwork, she caught on quickly. Quilts are big projects, so it took her about six months to complete the first quilt. My brother Dave was the lucky recipient.
There was about a 10-year gap before she made another quilt. The next one was for my sister, Beth. And then one for me. More followed, including a decorative wall quilt and a beautiful, snuggly bear’s paw quilt for her living room.
The tradition continued with Susan’s grandchildren. Susan made two beautiful quilts for my brother’s children, and then one for my first baby, Leo.
When Jonas arrived, of course Susan (or, “Mimi” as the grandchildren call her) wanted to make a quilt for him. As Susan worked on his quilt, she mentioned to me, “we should tell the story of these quilts.” What a great idea! These quilts are beautiful works of art, and creating a book about them was the perfect way to document and honor them.
So, Susan and I worked together. She wrote the text. Since I live 300 miles away, we had to carefully plan the photos. The majority of the photos were taken in December 2008, just before Jonas turned 1. In May 2009, I ordered my first copy of our book, A Quilt for Jonas.
Now I am very happy to share it with you.
Leo and Jonas LOVE the quilt book. All kids love stories, and I think all kids love to hear about themselves. It didn’t take Leo long to memorize the book, so he can read it to Jonas. They still look at it often.
Leo, reading the quilt book.
Hey, what’s Leo doing? Is he reading the quilt book?
Mom,Mimi, thank you so much for all your hard work creating these beautiful quilts for us. Dave, Beth and I all still have our quilts and use them all the time. We will treasure them forever, and think of you every time we use them and every time we read the quilt book.