Handmade…to me, the word evokes a sense of warmth, of giving, of love. My first thoughts go to a few of the oodles of blankets we received at our baby shower. That was almost two years ago – yikes! where has the time gone?!
Somehow, we ended up with close to 30 receiving blankets. A few of them were lovingly made by family and friends, and those have a special place in my heart:
The ones I love the most are the lightweight flannel ones with crocheted borders made by my grandma (like the one with the train pattern – that’s just one of the ones she made). We’ve been using them a lot more now, because they seem to comfort my son at bedime. Each night, he grabs one of his blankets from a cubby hole, hands it to me, climbs into my lap and curls up into my neck. I wrap the blanket on top of us and cuddle back. When he realizes that it’s time to go to sleep, he pops up and plays some sort of silly game (blowing me kisses, pretending to bite my nose, throwing himself back so I’ll tickle him, etc.) to get my heart to melt so I’ll let him stay up later. After a little play time, I place him in the crib and tuck him in with the blanket.
What I love is that these blankets remind me of when I was little. My grandmother made some of these same kinds of blankets for me and my brother when we were born. After we were babies, these blankets became superhero capes, roofs to our forts, and on occasion used as whips. I still have my favorite (pink, of course) at my mom’s house. One more detail that amazes me – each blanket has a different crocheted border, and she never works from a pattern. She just makes it up and goes with it.
The quilt in the middle of the stack was the first quilting project by one of my oldest friends (not age-wise, but time-wise). She was the first friend I made when we moved from Puerto Rico to the States (Florida to be exact). Really, our brothers, who were fast friends, pushed us together so that we’d leave them alone and they were lucky that we hit it off. More than 20 years later, we’ve all become family. This quilt is so special to me, because it was made by her. I can’t imagine finding complimentary fabrics, cutting so many squares, sewing them together and then giving it away. I can’t even begin to imagine how long this took. And to give away your first quilt is so telling of my friend’s genuine heart. My son and I have had great times on this quilt – it was the perfect tummy time mat in his infant days!
The knit blanket at the bottom of the stack brings a tear to my eye every time I look at it. It was made by my mom’s aunt, who honestly, I don’t remember ever meeting. I know that she has the most giving heart even though she has been very ill almost her entire life. She became a nun when she was young, but after being incredibly ill (she had her last rites given to her four times), she left the convent so she wouldn’t be such a burden to her already-struggling community. She went on to fall in love, marry, have a child and then adopt two more children. These days, she is in her 80’s, and a widow. Despite her health issues, she still has a beautiful giving spirit that won’t give up. She learned to knit a couple of years ago and when she found out I was pregnant with a boy, began knitting this beautiful blue blanket that I used to wrap up my little baby boy on that chilly December day that we left the hospital to bring him home.
All this hadmade love continually inspires me, not only in my own sewing and crafting, but in my life as well. It inspires me to live from my heart and share my heart with others.