Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stages of My Little Girl - the story behind the Quilt

This quilt was a project that started about 6 years ago. We had just moved back to the States, moved into a new house, and were trying to rebuild our lives after Hurricane Ivan took most of our material possessions. We were fortunate enough to get some donations to us to help us get settled, and my daughter received some beautiful velvet dresses from generous souls, and being a little girl, these were her most favorite dresses.
But as children do, she quickly grew out of them and reluctantly cleaned out her closet to donate to other girls who were in need.  Her favorite dresses I just could not part with, and the fabric was so nice I decided to keep a couple for the someday I could use them.  They appear in the quilt as the blue flowered velvet squares, the black velvet square with the ribbon, and the black velvet squares with the sparkes on it.

The jeans in the quilt are from the time of no more school uniforms. She loved that she got to pick her school clothes, and she picked the coolest jeans. She wore them until they were 2 inches too short and reluctantly parted with them as well. How could I get rid of these jeans she treasured so much? They represented her new fashion sense, in elementary school, and the first time she could choose what to wear to school.  The squares with the pink triangle suede and the pink leather ties were from her favorite pair.
When she entered middle school, her tastes matured along with her attitude, and animal prints were her new favorite thing. Everything in her room had to be either zebra, tiger, or leopard. I recovered her butterfly chair with a soft furry animal print fabric, and we made a pillow together to match with the same fabric.  Of course saved the extra fabric.  There is a square or two for each of the animals she once saturated her room with. She still likes these prints and loves them in the quilt, but since has broadened her decorating style.

My favorite addition to the quilt is the polka dot fabric.  This is special to us because it is what we used to create the Teddy Bear she designed for her best friend.  She made the pattern for the bear, picked out the fabrics, even the paw print fabric and eye fabric.  We made the bear together, and she gave it to her best friend for her birthday.  I even stitched paw prints in each polks dot square to remind her of the teddy bear she created. She says these are her favorite squares too.

The teddy bear polka dot sqaures are a special part of the quilt for me because it represents a project we worked together on, and it is the project that began the thought of starting a handmade business, where we could create and sell things like these teddy bears together.  After we made this bear, we brainstormed a name for 'our business', and from that day Raige Creations came to life and has grown into what it is today.

And these are my favorite kinds of things to make, the things that have meaning and stories to go with it. There is a story with each square, each fabric had a life before this, and now together they can be used for many more years to come.  It makes the sore fingers, the bleeding pin pricks, the backaches (from having to work on the floor to piece it all together), the broken sewing machine needles, the bent and broken pins, the years of collecting and countless hours creating all worth it. 

The reaction she had when she opened it on Christmas day was so fun too. The first thing she said was, "Hey, those are my jeans!"  That made it all so worth it.  I hope she keeps it forever, but alas, she will probably grow out of this as well, as she matures into a woman with different tastes.  Maybe she will keep it for her little girl....

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca! What a beautiful story. All of that work, it was truly a labor of love, I know. That will be treasured for a lifetime, I'm certain. Even more than that are the memories of each of those fabrics and the special relationship she has with her Mom. I loved reading this - thank you for sharing this truly special story. So so happy to have met you guys. xoxo Rhonda

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