I shared a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago of Junebug holding up her completed quilt top. It was supposed to have its binding by that time, but my back had flared up earlier that week, so the binding had taken a back seat. Ever since that day, Junebug has “reminded” me that her quilt needed binding.
I found myself caught up on my various projects last week, and not tired enough to necessitate going to bed right then, so I finally attached the scrappy yellow binding to Junebug’s Ducky Quilt. I was hoping it would be a surprise; but, of course, that was one of her nights where she “just wasn’t tired” and had taken to getting out of bed every ten minutes to do a walkabout. I could hear her pattering about upstairs, and I made the move to hide her quilt, but then I looked up and her little eyes were peeking around the corner of my craft room, and I knew I’d lost.
She spent the next twenty minutes sitting next to me as I sewed, and we chatted about the things that are important to a seven year old, like what she wants to be when she grows up (zoo keeper and a mommy), Minecraft, how good she is at making quilts, her collection of stuffed animals, and Christmas. I could have ordered her back to bed, but these little conversations only seem to happen after bedtime, so I indulged her. And besides, once she saw that I was working on her quilt, she wasn’t going to go to sleep anyway.
I finished stitching it the next day, and she’s taken it everywhere with her since. She’s so proud of herself, and it warms my heart to see her so puffed up with her finish. It’s important to me that my children have experiences with finishing things while they’re young, so they can get a taste of what successful hard work feels like. Finishing a quilt isn’t the result of a lucky hit off of a chance good pitch in softball, or having your name picked from the jar to go up and be in front of the class–finishing a quilt happens because you showed up and you did the work until the job was done. Period. I like those kinds of experiences for my kids, and then they also have a tangible reminder of their work.
This quilt also gave us the opportunity to experience some love from our local crafting community. When my back went out, I couldn’t help my girl with her quilt, so I sent out an SOS to my quilt block swap group. Two of the ladies messaged me back that they could help finish up some of the stitching before the top was due to Junebug’s teacher for its turn on the longarm. The lady who ended up doing the stitching, Shirley, stopped by my house at 10pm that night to pick it up and spent the rest of her waking hours that night stitching the rest of the rows. I remember watching her walking down my sidewalk with the quilt top and thinking that crafty people are so amazing. We know that these hobbies of ours are “extras” in the grand scheme of daily life activities, but we also know how personally important these hobbies are to us and we’ll band together to help each other out, even though having a seven year old’s quilt top done by morning really isn’t a mandatory thing that needs to be done. Crafty people are nice. And helpful. And empathetic. And awesome. Thank you so much, Shirley!
There’s just a lot that makes me happy when I look at this quilt.
She’s so proud.
So am I.