Monday, April 28, 2014

to please

I planned a little quilt.
I wanted it to say something about childhood and love.
And something about the fleeting nature of time.
And about story.
About what we pass on to our children and grandchildren through story and song.

A portrait of my grandchildren reading a bedtime story seemed exactly right.
Black and white like an old photo.
Timeless love.

Sounded good.
Started out as easy as you please.
I chose dark gray for shadow and added the light.
Ta da.
There was my grandson, soberly reading.
On to my granddaughter.

The children came to play.
My grandson was entranced.
"Why does it look like us from a distance, and just look like little pieces of material up close," he asked, his nose inches from the quilt.
His sister was not as impressed.
She wanted to look like her brother, she informed me seriously, only different she added by way of clarifying.
I knew what she meant.
She wanted to see herself clearly in simple shadow and light and I had created a face with mostly shadow.
I began again.
My next attempt was even worse and my visiting granddaughter felt compelled to offer me some artistic advice.
She didn't want her hair in a ponytail.
A hairband seemed important to her.
And she wanted it to look like her.
So did I.
I snipped and shaped and tweaked and squinted at photos and a pile of scap fabric soon littered the table.
My mind felt just as cluttered.
Quilters angst gripped me.
Why oh why?

Always change a loosing game.
I love those words of advice.
I could rethink the whole project.
Ahhhh, yes.
I would add the baby to the quilt as well.
She would sit between her brother and sister.
I felt better already.
I had been regretting that she hadn't been in the first draft.
Her big sister took shape, leaning in with a kiss.
I heard music.
A whole marching band.
My grandson, earnestly reading, the baby turning coyly, a big sister bent to kiss...... yes, that so captured this past year.
I didn't show the finished portrait to my grandchildren.
The little quilt has flown away to McDougall Cottage.
But when it returns in the fall like a homing pigeon I hope it meets with their approval. Grandmothers live to please.


Blue Moth said...

What a great story - and a lovely quilt.

Peg said...

Fabulous job! Really does look like a portrait!

Quilt Rat said...

Absolutely FABULOUS! I can hardly wait to see it in person.....perhaps a pretty purple ribbon will be hanging with it. :-)