Forgotton fabric, a friend in need, and why I love handmade

Rural*ish rag quilt

I bought this fabric online last year, before we moved. I loved the mix of cheery oranges, turquoises, and yellows and thought that it was fresh & summery. I loved the play of the bold geometric patterns off of the vintagey florals. But for some odd reason, when it arrived, I wasn’t sure if I liked it anymore. I ironed every single last piece and was going to start a quilt, but kept thinking, “Why don’t I like this fabric as much as I thought I would?”. So, I stalled and that’s as far as I got. It hung over my stair railing for months, and I’d just ignore it every time I walked past (I’m lazy that way). Then we moved & it got shoved in a box marked “Fabric” with all of my scraps and remnants, and sat in a pile of still-packed boxes in the corner of our new  office.

Then I got the sad news that one of my best friends’ dad passed away. Even though I talked with and texted her every day, I felt helpless because I couldn’t be right there with her. And that’s when I remembered my cheery, fresh, summery fabric. Suddenly, I had a purpose. This is how I could feel useful. This is how I could feel closer to her across the miles. I ran to that fabric box and pulled out this long, lost fabric…and I LOVED it. It was so gorgeous, how could I ever have doubted it?

So, I got to cutting…

Rural*ish rag quilt squares

And sewing…

Rural*ish rag quilt: Sewing rows

And then I snipped, and snipped, and snipped, till this happened (sorry for the blurry iPhone photo!):

And with each cut, stitch, snip, I thought about my sweet friend and her family. I remembered her dad’s smile and how it lit up his face and eyes. I reminisced on all of their homes I’d been to over the years, from junior high, to high school, to college & beyond. I realized what a great sacrifice it was for her parents to leave their native country to give their kids the life they wanted for them here in America. And I was reminded of how grateful I was for that sacrifice, because I never would have met one of my best friends in this world.

In four days, in between all of my mom chores, swimming lessons, breaking up fights between the pias, and more, “Mom, look at me-help me-what’s this-moooommmmms” than I can count, I had made this:

And I gave this to my lovely, beautiful friend:

I have to admit, it was a little weird giving a gift at a funeral. I waited for a calm, private moment so I wouldn’t draw attention to myself. But it felt so good to give my friend a piece of my heart, something that she can wrap around herself when things are tough and she needs a big, warm hug.

And that, my friends, is why I love giving handmade gifts. It is not just the pretty fabric or the end result, but the warmth, love, time, and effort that are hidden inside.

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8 thoughts on “Forgotton fabric, a friend in need, and why I love handmade

  1. Oh my gosh! Such a beautiful gift for your friend! So meaningful! So comforting! You’re so right we all feel so helpless to help someone who lost a loved one. You were so right to make her this cheerful quilt! I love it. Thanks for posting this. My heart was warmed this morning!
    Beth

    Like

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