Friday, June 14, 2013

Birthday Quilt

Rosemary turned one almost a month ago. I am still reliving her birth, especially with the blooming of the gardenias as those were the flowers my cousin brought which sat beside my hospital bed and filled the room with God's most perfect perfume. 

First Birthday!!! I can hardly believe it's come and gone. The difference between Rosemary at almost one, frightened to stand, still eating mostly baby food, and Rosemary at almost 13 months is pretty amazing to me. She is almost walking, babbling constantly, expressing a mind of her own in a myriad ways...which reminds me that my mother told me once that she was always trying to make suggestions during play time when I was an infant and I was simply not going to do what she wanted.  My nana also told me that I once told her "I need my pwivacy," when she asked if I needed help in the bathroom. Let's just say Rosemary did not fall far from the tree. In-de-pen-dent! 

What can a mom do to adequately commemorate for the first time the right of passage of a birthday for her daughter, but also, remember and acknowledge all the days of her and her husband's own growth, adjustment, life change, weeping and joy, sleeplessness, and love that occurred over the last year? There isn't really anything that can capture all of the upheaval and renewal and rejoicing, but making a quilt helped me feel I had communicated something in concrete and not just in words and thoughts. Sewing is a time honored, historically necessary skill. It's a way to remember thoughts and feelings during the time of the crafting, like having one's thoughts interwoven, stitched down. It's like that silly book Like Water for Chocolate, that my 11th grade teacher made me write my first "long" paper on. The poor protagonist is in love with a man who marries her sister. And she, being a cook, has the singular ability to put her emotions into her baking, literally as an ingredient, by experiencing those emotions in the presence of the food being prepared. With a quilt, I had time to think of Rosemary and all the changes in my life for months, beginning last fall, purchasing fabrics and browsing online for the perfect free pattern, which incidentally is here. Anna Maria Horner to the rescue, of course. My cousin, Jane (blog here), inspired and made possible any of my sewing. She swooped down from Atlanta like a mother hen while I was in labor with Rosemary. And in the coming days, she took care of all of us. Her parting gift was dragging out my sewing machine from the unopened box, teaching me to thread it (so daunting for some reason!) and then giving me a few pointers along with sending a box of fabric scraps for a present months later! My neighbor, Melissa also inspired me (see?). She gave me a few classes years ago and then made a quilt for her son, born a few weeks before Rosemary, for Christmas. With my cousin and my neighbor quilting away, I felt I had to have in on this club. 

Here are some pictures of the results: 

Some of the fabrics are actually from scraps around the house. There are bits from our bedroom curtain fabric and bits from her birthday dress fabric. Mostly, I am one of those new fangled quilters who buys the funky quilting fabric instead of making a quilt from used and loved clothing. But don't you just love the turquoise feather fabric and the letter fabric with the P for Peterson? And who can resist red poppies? 

 Back detail. I used a thick teal-colored thread to do the actual quilting and embroidering. 

Fun! Now, to get my daughter as she's waking from her nap and put her on it. It makes playtime outside much more enjoyable! And I can already tell she thinks it's great, too. :)


  1. I Am So Proud Of You.The Quilt Is BEAUTIFUL And I Am Sure Rosemary Will Treasure It For Years To come.

  2. This quilt is beautiful, Dorothy!!! Just the perfect gift for your precious little blessing!

  3. Dorothy, it's beautiful!
    Mandy :)