Friday, November 28, 2008

Alice's quilt

After Alice was born and died I came home from hospital lost, sad and panicked. I didn't know whether to sit or stand or to run or scream. Amongst the million thoughts going through my mind I knew that I had to make something for our baby girl. Alice missed out on the handmade clothes, the bibs, the appliqued tee-shirts and the little blankets for her dolls and bears. She missed out on my terrible knitting, my printing and my not so neat embroidery.

The need to make her a quilt was overwhelming - I had to make her something. So I came home and did just that. I went up to my sewing room, carefully picking out fabric that meant something to me and to us and carefully cut my squares. I am generally a speed sewer but this time I was careful and pressed all my seams and lined up all my joins and was as neat as I could be.

I chose the Japanese double gauze for the inside as it felt like a babies muslin. Something that should be close to her skin.

I appliqued some mementos on the inside - some things that would be close to her, some things that had been close to us.

I worked on the quilt, hand binding it the next morning and finishing it throughout the day. I took it back to the hospital, where she still was. I went to see our baby again to wrap her in this gift that I made. I wrapped Alice in the quilt with a small bear my mother made for me many years ago. This was the last time I would see my baby.

In some unexplainable way I felt calmer. I wanted her to be safe and warm and not to be alone. Some of the fabric was new, some was vintage and some was recycled. There were stories in the fabric and they would keep her safe.
(This post first appeared on my other blog


Barbara said...

That's such a beautiful thought.


ezra'smommy said...

So very beautiful. Not having knit anything in advance for Ezra (out of superstition - ha!) when he died I asked my coworker if I could still have the blanket I knew she was knitting for my little man. It was beautiful...a rich goldenrod color with an intricate cable design. Ezra was buried wrapped in his beautiful blanket, like we had put him to sleep with care.

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful. My mom and I are trying to make a quilt (well, we have excellent intentions) but aren't making much progress. Part of it is, I want it to be perfect. Plus I cannot sew to save my life.

I'm so sorry about Alice.