After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Papa's Quilt

Our wonderful Nana passed away last May.  Logan, my compassionate one, was very worried about Papa being alone.  He wondered what he could do to help Papa feel better.  He decided he wanted to make him something, and when I suggested a quilt, he was very excited.  Logan was concerned with the thought of Papa sleeping all alone, so the thought of Papa sleeping snuggled up in a quilt sounded perfect to him.
Felicity and Kian wanted to help out and all 3 kids dove into my "pockets and patches" drawer (aka, the scrap drawer).  I got a bit nervous as I envisioned a quilt made with every single scrap I polka dots, balloons on red, Easter bunnies on purple.  But I wanted to leave the fabric choices in their hands and knew they'd get bored if the project was a few prints repeated over and over.  Then I had the idea to do a rainbow quilt, so we could incorporate all the scraps the kids wanted, but keep some sort of order.  We did the quilt as you go method, as I figured the kids could manage this method well.
When we first started the project, I had a moment where I thought it was going to be an epic fail.  3 kids on the sewing machine?  However, once I learned what each child was capable of (or not) it was a very manageable project and we moved forward at a great pace.

Logan did almost his whole blocks by himself.  The only thing I did was cut his fabric choice into the right length and width needed, and sew it in place to guarantee a good seam.  He would then operate the pedal and guide his fabric through the machine, doing all his top stitching.

Here's an example of one of his blocks.  The kids picked their fabric choices (which I'm sure you could tell) while staying in the designated color choice for that block.  Logan learned how to do nice straight lines, but he also purposefully "steered" the needle around to make wavy lines, as you can see on that dark green fabric.

Felicity couldn't operate the pedal and guide the fabric at the same time.  So I pushed the pedal, and she guided her fabric through.  She had a tendency of putting weight on her left hand, creating a pivot.  So a lot of her top stitching ended up being very circular.  :)

Here's one of her blocks. 

I tried to sew with Kian on my lap so that he could put his hands on the fabric and help me guide it through while I pushed the pedal.  He did that some, and would also help me lift the presser foot and switch it into reverse, but it was pretty hard to sew with a wiggly two year old on my lap.  So some of the time, he just sat in a pile of fabric scraps and told me which one he wanted me to put on next.  Then, as I sewed, he'd tell me what a "good pick" he'd made.

Here's his favorite block.  The tractors were a "very good pick"!

It was fun to have some one on one time with each kid.  And once they completed a block, they couldn't wait to run out and show the others their creation.  They were so proud!  I added a few blocks of my own, to keep the momentum going.

And here's our finished product.  Made with LOTS of love, and by lots of little hands.

We gave it to Papa for Christmas, and I think you can see that he liked it a lot.

We walk down to Papa's a lot, and every time we do, the kids can't wait to get there and see if Papa is in his recliner under his quilt. 

I LOVED this project! 
I loved being able to help Logan follow through on his feelings of compassion, I loved sewing with them, I loved how all 3 of them took so much ownership in their work, and I LOVED their excitement in giving.  They talked about how much Papa was going to love his quilt through the entire project.  They truly gave with all their hearts.

Logan wrote a note to go along with the gift, explaining it to Papa.  It read;
"Dear Papa, We wanted to make you a quilt to make you happy because Nana is in heaven.  Love, Logan"


  1. Love the quilt, truly beautiful. Love anything with bright bold colors. Your kids did a great job. Wish I had the slightest clue how to quilt myself. I'm sure it will be well used and loved and the making of it will be cherished memory for you and the kids all their lives. Great project.

  2. Jenny, sometimesI wish I was one of your kids! LOVE IT!

  3. that is so special! I almost cried...seriously (lol). It looks great all put together! Inspiring too...

  4. This is one of the sweetest things I've read! I'm teary eyed from reading it and seeing those pictures. What a blessing those little ones are!The rainbow block idea was great, the quilt turned out beautiful.

  5. Oh my gosh, oh Jenny you've got me all tearing up! This is so incredibly beautiful- each little one putting so much of his or her heart and soul into this gift! What a treasure!
    Love, Mel

  6. Yep I have tears streaming down my face. Beautiful in every way. Look how meaningful scraps can be. I love the kids' hearts and the look on Papa's face as he opened it, took it in, and sat under it. Thanks for sharing this Jenny. You are an amazing mom and grand-daughter!

  7. beautiful. in every way.

  8. Ladies, thank you all for these meaningful words! I went away for the weekend and was surprised to come back and see all these comments here.....many more than my posts usually get. I had no idea it would make so many of you teary. Thank you for your encouragement!

  9. This is a beautiful quilt, and this post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful thing your family has made.

  10. Jenny...Simply unquestionably beautiful. A true expression of deeply felt love. I think it is wonderful to have had so much help from the little ones as it is so easy to just plow through a project like this on your own. And each block is gorgeous. The look on your papa's face is priceless. Thanks for sharing ~ gosh, your kids are adorable!!!
    xo Jules