Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Gifted Quilt : :

Yesterday was a very tough day for me, a very tough day. All three of my kiddos had their first day of school, my youngest started Kindergarten, and although I tried so hard to prepare myself, I wasn't. I'm not sure what I expected. Taking all three of them in for their first day of school, walking out without any of them. I couldn't have possibly imagined how it would make me feel.

There were several times this Summer when my kids were so wound up and noisy, that vacuuming was my only retreat to having just a little stretch of time to think clearly. I remember one particular day while I was vacuuming when I daydreamed about life with all of them in school. I would read books again, go for long walks alone, sew all day without interruption, go on coffee dates with friends and day trips with my husband when he had a weekday off. We could get kayaks? Kayaks would be fun!
I imagined that it would be peaceful. That I would feel like I could breathe easier. And then the day came.

I came home, a complete mess of emotions. Feeling the weight of realizing that this new chapter was here whether I was ready or not, that my baby days were officially over, feeling complete disbelief that this time was here so soon. It was hard to breathe. How were we here? It just didn't seem possible.

Kevin, who is home recovering from a surgery he had this past Friday, was completely sweet trying to make me feel not crazy. We drank coffee, while I unloaded. I shared the pictures I took of the kids. I felt better, so he went to lay down. It was silent. And, instead of doing any of the things I had dreamed about. I vacuumed. This time to escape the silence.

I worked my way up to my sewing room, which was nearly abandoned this last month. How could I sew without my brood. Without my little girl who was on my lap the very first time I turned my sewing machine on. I couldn't begin to tell you what a huge part of all of this she has been. My anything but silent partner in this sewing adventure. The decider of unsure fabric selections and so many of my daily projects. I could make something for them and cry the whole time. I could work on a number of different projects that needed to be made.

And there it was. Someone to sew for. An unexpected gift, just at the right time! A follower and friend of this blog knew.. somehow ..exactly what I needed. And I am so grateful!

a gifted quilt -- so amazing!!

A note from Jodi

a gifted quilt -- so amazing!!

a gifted quilt -- so amazing!!

This quilt was gifted to me from Jodi. It traveled all the way from Australia and arrived perfectly, with a card so sweet and wonderful, I can't even begin to tell you. From the little bit I have shared here about my struggles, Jodi has kept me in her thoughts and added me to her prayers. Out of pure kindness, she decided that this beautiful quilt should be for me.

How could she possibly know how much I would need it? And, then I read her post and I was even more amazed. She really did.

And, so I knew just what to do. I would start a new quilt for Jodi. A friendship quilt full of our favorite Anna Maria Horner fabrics, love, and appreciation for giving me a great project to start off sewing solo and so much more.

Anna Maria Horner Fabrics

Anna Maria Horner Fabrics

Thank you so much Jodi! And thank you ALL for the well wishes you left me here and for all the facebook messages and emails you have sent me throughout these last few weeks!

While we all adjust, I am so happy to have and to be back in this space with all of you! Maureen 

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

35 comments:

Chris@Cats On My Quilts said...

I just read your post about your struggles. I too am an autoimmune champ. I have three autoimmune diseases, one of them with my thyroid. One of my other ones is attacking my stomach and the other has affected my pancreas. I was in a funk for a long time over this but I am doing well now. Afterall, I am here to enjoy my fabulous family and especially my 2 grandsons. I get to play with fabric and yarn on a regular basis and that brings beauty to my spirit everyday. But I do remember the day when both of my children were in school and how lost I felt. I seemed to have no identity anymore. My oldest grandson started kindergarten yesterday and those feelings came rushing back to me-silly isn't it. So hang in there. I am here to tell you that even with all that is going on healthwise and with children, life is good. Good luck.

Jodi said...

Oh my! I am so..now it's my turn to have no words. :)
I cannot wait to see your quilt! How exciting and wonderful.
And I can't express how glad I am that our experiences, though full of differences, can speak to each other.
xxx

Jannell said...

Welcome back. So glad you love those kids so much.
Artteajannell.blogspot.com

Sarah said...

Happy to have you back! This was such a sweet post!! =D

Kay said...

I cried every time a child started school, then I cried again every September when they had to start over with a new teacher. They were always fine, I was the only one that ever cried. Your present is lovely, friends like that are rare and beautiful.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

I was grateful to be the only one in tears. They all had a wonderful day, which made today a little easier.

Maureen Cracknell Handmade said...

Thank you Jannell!! Oh, I do and there is nothing I love more than being their Mom!

Ginette said...

I read Jodi's post about the quilt yesterday... and cried. I am shedding tears again this morning as I read your post. I just dropped my 2 little (big) girls at school for their first day of school and am, like you, feeling emotional and sad that I am sitting here alone. It is so quiet and I don't really know what to do with myself. My baby is in Senior Kindergarden this year and I remember going through this last year too. I know I will be fine but we had such a great summer together, I just wasn't ready for it to end.
You are so lucky to have such a great friend in Jodi and her gift couldn't have arrived at a better time. I hope you have a great day and remember that it will get easier!

Cynthia Taylor said...

So lovely Maureen! Reading your post brings out so many emotions I am dreading to deal with next year. What a amazing gift and blog post from Jodi. Love you!

beaquilter said...

My kids started school too, but we were all READY! but I have a little one at home now, she's 2 wks old today :-) but this year too my kids are in two schools!

Meredith Daniel said...

YOU'RE BACK! I'm so excited you are back, though I'm sorry it had to start out with some heartache. You have been on my mind, and I hope your break brought some much needed rest.

Pile O Fabric said...

So glad to have you back Maureen! Hope you are feeling a bit refreshed. This quilt is so beautiful! I love how Jodi was saying she didn't know how someone would feel about being given a quilt with a nude pregnant woman, she made me laugh. I would love it, it is amazing :) I think any mother would just adore it.

Shirley Tener said...

Gorgeous

SuzyMcQ said...

Happy to see you too, Maureen. And, I feel your loss, with all of your kids in school. It will get better as the days pass. My oldest left for college 1200 miles away and, two weeks later, I am still coping, missing him so much.

It is wonderful that you are gifting Jodi with a beautiful quilt to match the lovely one she sent to you. I always find that doing things for others makes me feel better when I'm a bit down in the dumps!

Christine said...

I bawled my eyes out....at the DOOR of the kindergarten! I'm happy you got to share your words with someone who knows you.

It's also scary to think that the time might fill up..especially with us creative types.

I am so grateful I got to have those years with my three..it was supremely special being alone with them and watching them grow.

Christine said...

OH!!! and that quilt is GORGEOUS!! the placement and usage of the hexagons.....the colors...

Jowyn Jenson said...

What a lovely (and sad) post. The quilt you received is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing (the quilt and your thoughts and emotions about today) xo

sandyb said...

What a wonderful touching story. It is amazing how people come into your life at the right time in the most wonderful ways. Who would have thought that your love for quilting would have come to bring so many people together to help heal you and for you to help heal and inspire so many others, including me. Thank you Maureen and your new gift is so pretty and I will know you will put much love into the gift that you make as you do in everything you make and in raising your children. HUGS

Paige @ Little Nostalgia said...

This was such a sweet post! I don't have any kids yet but I know I'll feel the very same way when I have to let them grow up a little. Sigh.

Katy Cameron said...

Aww, big (((((HUGS))))) And what a lovely quilt to receive. I'm sure whatever you send will be fabulous, as ever :o)

PS, while you're on a vacuuming kick, fancy coming over to do mine? ;o)

Jacey said...

That is such a special gift. How sweet of Jodi! It's beautiful, and I just love the timing of such gifts sometimes. Right when you need a pick-me-up. I hope tomorrow is just a little easier, Maureen. And I bet your kiddos will be happy to see you this evening! xo

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

I'm dreading the day you've just lived through Maureen, so I feel your pain! I feel guilty for not wanting them to grow up, I want all my chicks in the nest! But grow up they will and like you am doing my best to turn them into good little people. Glad to hear they had a wonderful first day and so glad you have great friends like Jodi to brighten your day. x x

**nicke... said...

what a perfect gift for you especially on that day. i have been thinking of you and hope you are doing well. i will call you soon! xoxo

Cherie said...

Gosh you make me want to cry now! It's been strange having the Younger Giant at home even Mother has been off this week. Usually it's just Father, the Older Giant and I. I haven't been sewing as much since his holidays started, but I plan to get back to things when things go back to 'normal'.

Such a fabulous idea for a gift, it's so nice to have someone to share things with. =D

Nanci D. Byers said...

What a beautiful message and quilt. Thank you for sharing your day. Even though I am not a mom, I still feel your upheaval of emotions and can empathize with you. Thank you also for sharing the images of the quilt Jodie gifted you. I particularly love the mother tree. It is quite poignant.

May I share your blog post on Pinterest or is that too intrusive?

Cheers,

Nanci

Svetlana said...

what a gorgeous quilt, Maureen. Hope every day will get easier and easier and you'll start enjoying your alone time.

Heather said...

I had a very similar day Maureen - dropped both boys off at school for the very first time and drove home trying not to cry. You said everything I was feeling, especially the bit about the baby days being over. Thank you for posting this - it makes me feel a little bit normal. I too abandoned all my daydreams of what I would do with my free time and spent the time folding laundry and mopping the kitchen. :) Lovely quilt, too.

arajane said...

wow, what an amazing gift! and what an amazing woman jodi is! it's hard for me to imagine right now sending my baby off to school, but the thought of it makes me a little petrified just thinking about it. i can see why you were so emotional about it. motherhood really is the most incredible journey.

Annette said...

Being a Mama isn't easy. We moved our 28 year old son almost 2000 miles away last week and it broke my heart to drive away.
What a beautiful quilt to receive today! God knows what he's doing! :)

Lisa Blyth said...

What a lovely, thoughtful gift, and just when you needed it! I know how you feel, well, at least I will know in about 5 days. I send my dear little one off to school for the very first time and while he's ready and excited I'm wondering how I'm going to cope. He has been my little shadow for six and a half years. The house is going to be very quiet and things will never be the same again. Take care Maureen. :)

andri. said...

I just read the post about your struggles. I hope you are feeling better now and have a speedy recovery, Maureen! Hugs and prayers from all of us:)

Swedish Scrapper said...

Oh, what a beautiful quilt! Such kindness, and perfect timing! I thought I saw a pregnant tree and I did! I've missed you Maureen and I'm glad you are back. You're in my prayers. You've got people all over the world pulling for you, and holding you up sometimes whenever you need it. As for kids and school days, I still get sad when mine go back, and they are in their teens! But I am so proud of them when they come home and show me what they did and thought and created all by themselves, hoping I'll be happy for them. And I am.

Jodi said...

I am a friend of Jodi's here in Newcastle, Australia and I know just what you mean about the beautiful, generous & kind woman Jodi is. She is amazing. When I read her post about giving that quilt away I was a bit stunned, I knew how personal that tree was to her and I kind of couldn't imagine giving it but now I know why she sent it & that it went to a Sister in need of love and comfort of a special kind and I know just why she sent it... because she is overflowing with love and care for others. I am so glad that it has found a home with someone who loves it.
I hope in the coming weeks you learn to love the new phase of your life and make it into the chapter you dreamed it would be. My only baby has just turned 2 and I vividly remember the grieving I went through when I gave up breast feeding & then when she started family day care 2 days a week... I am sure School will just be another challenge. A few years ago I helped my mum through the challenge of her last child (my baby brother) moving out of home... her empty nest was a hard transition.
There are days I am sure we mummies are made of extraordinary stuff to give life and then spend the rest of our lives letting them go little bit by little bit while always holding them in our hearts.
Enjoy that precious and special quilt - I can't wait to see the one your sending back to Jodi.
Jodi R

O'Quilts said...

Your blog, your quilts and your personal story encourages others on. I can see already why someone sent you a beautiful quilt. Happiness is a choice and when you choose it...it spreads like the ripples in the water. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

GO STARS! said...

About 4 years ago now, I was looking at an empty nest. I have 3 sons and the youngest was moving on to technical school. He's now been on his own in Iowa for 3 years - we live in Texas. Having been a mom for so many years and my boys being the focus of much of my life, I wasn't sure who I was any longer. I've learned that to watch the children soar has been the best thing for a mom. All three are doing well - one to be ordained as a priest in a year and the other two working and self-supporting.
Each stage in a child's life is something both scary and exciting as a mom. We are changed in so many ways - in the way we look at ourselves and how we describe ourselves and our "jobs". I'm glad you finished your special quilt. Enjoy each phase and look forward to each new phase.