02 October, 2012

Dream Big


I made a quilt. It's taken me almost a year. It was very intense to make. Both in terms of the effort in the quilting and the emotions it brought up. It's finally been delivered to the recipients.

Last August Jennie's husband died quite suddenly. He was helping his daughter on her bike on the streets of Brooklyn when he collapsed. Jennie was only someone I knew through her blog, tweets, and the occasional email. But I, like many others, needed to rally around her in a mass of support for this unexpected loss of the love of her life. We made pie, we sent notes, we read her posts about the grief. And I, well I did what I do, I sewed.

I think it was the fact that Jennie could have been me. Two young girls, a vibrant writing career, and a relationship with a great husband. Her story was tragic and life-altering and it could just as easily have happened to me. I've never met Jennie and so embarking on a queen sized quilt seemed overly generous to people I know. But it felt like the right thing to do - for me, yes, but for Jennie and her girls.


Grief can be all consuming and very lonely. It matters to know that people are thinking about you. And even though it wasn't my intention to take so long to finish, it is nice to have these gestures after the fact, when the initial support has gone away. I hope to meet Jennie one day, give her a hug, and watch our girls feel each other out then walk in front of us, hand in hand in their coordinating Saltwater Sandals. For now, I can only encourage her on her journey to Dream Big.











Dream Big
Approximately 80'' by 90"
Scrappy letters in low-volume fabrics, pieced then fused
Machine quilted at home with Aurifil 50wt
Fabric contributed by Jen Yu

21 comments:

Jodi said...

It's beautiful, and so are you, Cheryl. And I know you're not looking for kudos like that, but I understand exactly what you mean about being "overly generous." Should there be any such thing, really? I think not when your heart is in the right place and you can encourage and uplift a friend who needs a hug, and how better to convey that than with a quilt that holds a little bit of yourself in every stitch! (sorry for the long comment, but your post really touched me)

Angie said...

What a beautiful expression of love. I too have 'met' a couple of bloggers, only through their blogs, that I would totally want to do something like this for if the occasion were to come up. Hugs to you AND Jenni and her girls.

Betty Crocker Ass said...

It's beautiful...

Trudi said...

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart, and I completely understand! Beautiful, you, your heart and the quilt!

Jen said...

Its BEAUTIFUL. What a lovely thing to give.

Beth said...

It is beautiful, and sweet, and a perfect thing to do.

Esch House Quilts said...

A beautiful quilt with an even more beautiful maker behind it. How could you go wrong when following your heart?

Suzanne said...

It is hard to deny the sense of comfort we can contribute one stitch at a time. I'm sure it was finished and will arrive at exactly the right time. Gifts from the heart are like that.

Maja said...

So absolutely nice done of you!
BIG HUG!!!

Jody said...

I agree Cheryl, grief is all consuming and very lonely. I feel for Jenni having just lost the two most important people in my life, my parents. Thank you for reaching out to Jenni and her daughters....I'm sure it will mean the world to her. The kindness of strangers is so wonderful:)

amy smart said...

What a beautiful quilt and even more beautiful gesture. I have a couple of friends who are my age with children the same ages as my own who have recently lost their husbands. One of those men was born the exact same day as my own husband. That fact made it all hit even closer to home.

I can hardly fathom what it must be like to loose your partner/father so suddenly. My heart goes out to them. I love that you created such a wonderful gift and tribute. Inspiring.

Josie McRazie said...

Continued prayers for her family healing! What an amazing gesture. I was just atguild last night and a friend had made a big finish. Odd Ball from geared for guys. It was for her father who unexpectedly passed last month. We had a good hug and she has decided to donate it so it gets good loveing!

Carla said...

What a treasure. Can't imagine her struggles, but you are right. She needs people. This will overwhelm her with love.
Wonderful : )

made by ChrissieD said...

Having recently lost my father I know just how much it would mean to me if someone made such a gesture of friendship and support. The quilt is perfect and I think you are saying something on behalf of all the wonderful, caring friends in everyone's life :)

Live a Colorful Life said...

What a lovely thing for you to do. It will bring warmth and comfort through hard times.

Sue said...

What a wonderful thing to do. You are a true friend. The world needs more people like you x

charlotte said...

Beautiful...the quilt and the sentiment. Always follow your heart. It knows best.

beth lehman said...

i love that you did this... we often think of reaching out in love, but we don't always follow through...

Jilly said...

That is absolutely beautiful and I am sure your friend was touched by your thoughtfulness. Bless you.

Nishta said...

so gorgeous. you are very special, my friend, and so is this quilt. xo

Gwendelynn said...

That is beautiful! I think that she would really appreciate the thoughtfulness that you so generously put into it!