Every so often I am involved with a quilt project that demonstrates that quilts have more meaning than people realize. As a member of numerous quilt guilds now and in the past, members put together quilts for children who come from domestic abuse or women who flee for safety with very little to provide them warmth and comfort. Instead of just giving money and let someone else do all the work, we do the work. It is our gift to give back wiht eh skills we have. But this project brought forward a few tears. With any more of my words, read the words of the person and how their quilt project provides them comfort:
“Below is our story…
On December 31, 2012, my siblings and I lost our father to sudden heart attack. He passed away immediately and we were never able to say good-bye or have much closure. His passing was 3 months before my (Katie) wedding. My father never got to see any of us walk down the aisle, graduate, witness our first job out of college or hold our children. Throughout the years, my siblings and I have moved, gotten married and starting having our own children.
Through this time, it’s taken about 7 years for all of us to start going through his belongings. We found it difficult to let go of many of his things. It seemed like the simplest items we couldn’t bear to part with. My sister, Ashley and I took my father’s prized oxford shirts in the summer of 2019. We weren’t sure what to do with them but our father would always wear them so proudly. He dressed up in embroidered shirts and ties for work all the time. Some were worn down and all were too large for any of us to wear or make into anything.
My sister got a surprise in July 2019 that she was expecting her second child. At that time, we started thinking about how we could use my father’s shirts to make a nursery quilt. I struggled with the idea because my husband and I had been trying for 6 years to get pregnant. We suffered disappointment after disappointment. The thought of making a nursery quilt for myself seemed foolish. How could I think I would ever really use it?… Well, God has his own timeline and plans for all of us.
In August 2019, my husband and I got the best news. We were finally pregnant! We decided we had to do something really special for my father and ourselves. We decided to make nursery quilts out of my father’s oxford shirts. I was so anxious and nervous about this process because we were tearing apart my father’s shirts but also leading with faith that our pregnancies would remain healthy.
After jumping feet foot into this process and picking out the materials for the quilt, we got the biggest shock of our lives…We were having twin girls! To say we were elated would be an understatement. It was hard to process. We were nervous to even speak this into the universe for fear we may lose this wonderful joy we finally hoped and prayed for.
Now, knowing what our family will have the meaning behind each quilt, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my father and his love. He will forever be wrapped around our children and watching over them. “
Katie Vella, Program Director
I am happy I was selected to bring these memory quilts to reality, and may they prove comfort and protection for your little ones.