Good Night My Little Love - The Pandemic "Family Sampler" Quilt
I'm an active person who shows love to her family with unique quilts made to match the recipient's personality; most recently, my youngest Granddaughter. For me, the process of making a quilt is time and love; time to get to know the recipient's personality, time to know their favorite color palette, time to design or choose a pattern and then sharing love by actually finding time to work on it. Working in my spare time, it typically takes years for me to complete a quilt.
When Covid19 hit and we were asked to self quarantine for our own safety, the concept of a day changed completely. Time spent as a full-time daycare for my youngest granddaughter (love of family) and time at weekly choral rehearsals (friendship/love of music) was replaced with binge watching all the TV and movies I ever wanted to see; only to find that it got old quickly. Baking bread, a good challenge (especially when flour and yeast became scarce), but what do you do with all that bread once it’s made? – There’s no one to share it with! Making masks, a worthy and necessary cause, manufacturers soon caught on to the need. I felt robbed!
But, while the Pandemic robbed me of the ability to actually be with family and friends, it did provide time. Fortunately, I decided to use that time on a quilt for my youngest Granddaughter, Annabelle. And her quilt allowed me to “spend time” with my family…
Annabelle was less than two years old. It was tough trying to guess what her favorite color might be. And a pattern…how to decide? I had the time and decided to just start making squares from various patterns thinking I’d let her mom, my daughter, pick which one she liked the best. And fabric! It was possible to order fabric online, but not timely. I found that orders were fulfilled slowly because employees weren’t available and shipments were delayed.
Out of necessity, I started with left-over fabric. The fabric sparked memories and sentimentally, I started reproducing patches from other family member’s quilts. “Spending time” with each, I made squares from my daughter’s quilts, Carolyn and Diane, my other granddaughter’s quilts, Katie and Alana. I designed patches representing me, my mother and my mother-in-law. As new fabric arrived, patches were made for Annabelle’s paternal grandma and her family name; even Annabelle’s teddy bear. Soon the quilt came to life; a family sampler with members “touching,” “holding hands” with the past, bound by the present!
I have the Pandemic to thank for Annabelle receiving her quilt in record time, her second birthday. And each time she sleeps with it, I know she’s gently being "hugged" by generations of family – her mother, grandmother, great-grandmothers, aunt, cousins and me – all lovingly remembered and stitched together. Time well spent. Good night my little love – sweet dreams.