Friday, March 2, 2012

fly, butterfly: a memorial quilt

My husband grew up in a small town; the kind where one group of 25 kids go through K-12 together, so they get to know each other pretty well. One of his classmates was Rebecca. I have met her a handful of times, and by some luck of fate she found me online via this blog and we chat from time to time. She is one with a golden heart- when I started to knit last year, she sent me a surprise package of knitting gift tags in support.

Last week I read the terrible news that Rebecca had suffered an unexpected stillbirth of her second child, a daughter. As a parent, or just as a human being, I am sure none of us can imagine anything worse than losing a child.

She has been on my mind and in my heart, and I wanted to provide some comfort. In the obituary for Olivia, they mentioned that donations were being accepted for a bench in a local butterfly park in her memory. "Fly, fly our little butterfly," the notice read. From these words, inspiration for a butterfly quilt was born. Something the family could keep in memory of the baby that they could not.



Simple. Grey for the grey skies that they are facing. A smattering of cheery pink butterflies making their way across the sky...and one wee butterfly veering off on her own path. Framed in a binding with cheerful flowers, to symbolize hope, a silver lining. Pink loopy quilting, like butterflies in flight. A few words incorporated into the loopy quilting...."Olivia," "fly" and "love."


More fluttering butterflies abound of the back, a great print by Valori Wells which was literally in my very first fabric order a couple years back....been hoarding it for awhile waiting for the perfect project.



The back also has a label and a quote, which I thought both lovely and appropriate to the situation:

The butterfly counts not months by moments, and has time enough.
-Rabindranath Tagore


I hope that the quilt can provide a small bit of comfort for Rebecca and her family during this heartbreaking journey.


Quilt stats:

Finished size: 26" by 31"
Design: inspired by this quilt. Butterflies from this template, raw edge appliqu├ęd.
Fabrics: backing is Valori Wells Monarch, front scraps of Nicey Jane, Hunky Dory, DS quilts, Children at Play. Grey solid from local quilt shop.
Binding: Children at Play Meadow
Quilting: loopy stipple in pink cotton thread (note- tried this with my feed dogs up this time as I have seen others try, it worked great!)
Label: I used this product (first time, and I was quite pleased with it!)

42 comments:

Angie said...

What a beautiful little quilt---such a wonderful loving gesture that I am sure they will treasure.

Stephanie said...

What a sweet gift! I was also so saddened to hear of Rebecca's (and her family's) loss. I cannot even imagine what it must be like to lose a child.

Although I only know her slightly (she is good friends with my SIL) I hurt for her so much!

kelly said...

i had to make a memorial quilt this week too, for the same reason. it's a heartbreaking thing.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Very touching...a beautiful quilt, it will be a treasure and a comfort.

ps. I also always quilt with my feed dogs up..works great.

Patti said...

Heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. You have a good heart and it shines through in this wonderful, thoughtful quilt.

Natalie said...

I am sure this quilt will be treasured-- it is such a sweet gesture at a time when it's hard to find the right words. I love how you interpreted the butterfly message in the quilt, it was very kind of you to put this together for your friend!

randi--i have to say said...

this is a lovely quilt, kristie. and i am sure it will provide some comfort and healing.

Flying Blind... said...

Beautiful xxx

emilyc @ Sew Super Sweet said...

What a wonderful gift in the absolute worst of circumstances. Bless you.

(and now you know why you were saving the butterfly backing...for this quilt)

Amanda Mc said...

How heart breaking for the family. The quilt is beautiful and an amazing gesture of love from you.

Katie B. said...

This is lovely, Kristie. I know Olivia's family will treasure this!

piece peace said...

My heart breaks for the family. What a beautiful way to honor their Olivia!

ecuakim said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

Karen said...

That's such a pretty quilt, I'm sure it will be much appreciated in this time of sorrow xx

Crystal said...

This will be such a comfort to the family. Thanks for sharing - it's a beautiful and meaningful quilt.

Anonymous said...

Made me cry all over again! It is beautiful and you are so very thoughtful.

Theresa

Katy Cameron said...

So sorry to hear about your friend, but you have created a beautiful memorial quilt for her

Anonymous said...

That's beautiful and so thoughtful! I'm sure there will be many tears shed on it but that Reb will cherish it always. Di

Amy Friend said...

How very sad. What a wonderful gift though...made me cry.

Poppyprint said...

What a lovely and caring gesture. This is a very sweet quilt and all of the sentiment you sewed into it will be treasured by Rebecca and her family, I'm sure.

felicity said...

I'm typing this through tears. That one little butterfly on her own path really got me. What a heartbreaking story, and a beautiful gesture. You're good people, Kristie.

Annabella said...

Wow. Your post really moved me. Such a sad story. Your quilt is beautiful and is sure to bring some comfort to Olivia`s parents.

Patchwork and Play said...

I enjoy all the comments- a sad story but a lovely gesture on your part.

Holly said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful quilt. It's heartbreaking to see that one little butterfly flying off on her own.

Kellie said...

What a beautiful memorial quilt - every aspect designed to honor and comfort.

Michele said...

I've got tears in my eyes reading this. I'm sure she will always cherish this special memorial

jfb said...

Beautiful quilt, thought , gesture ... As always it's the "thought" that counts... What a great memory quilt

bethanndodd said...

My heart breaks for Rebecca and her family. What a beautiful way to show your respects. I have no doubt that this quilt will be long treasured. Smiles~Beth

QuiltyGirl said...

Wow, it is just perfect.

diane said...

What a beautiful and touching memorial to their lost daughter. This is a very special gift.

Red said...

I absolutely love the quilt Kristie. The symbolism is so meaningful to our family - the little pink butterfly, Olivia's name stitched in the quilting, the grey/purple background...the loopy pink quilting. I just love the pink florals that you used. Just what I would have chosen for my precious little Olivia.

Your quilt has brought warmth, caring and comfort to our family and for this I thank you.

Love you, Rebecca

Barbara said...

That is one of the most beautiful and thoughtful quilts I have ever seen. Your kindness shines so strongly during a time of such immense sadness.

omathgoddess said...

What a gorgeous and heartfelt gift. When Rebecca told me about it yesterday, I could see the joy it brought to her. You are a special friend to give them such a wonderful keepsake during such a heartbreaking time.

Shay said...

I love this quilt and the thoughts and love that must have gone into making it . Im sure the family will appreciate it and treasure it along with the memories of their little one.

Kaynik said...

Such a wonderful thing you have done.
I'm sure they will treasure it forever.

Jennifer said...

I know what it feels like to lose a child. I've been through two miscarriages myself.

I pray for peace for Rebecca and her family.

I know that your beautiful quilt will bring her comfort.

Linda said...

Such a beautiful quilt made for a very sad reason. Your quilt will be welcomed and treasured, a tangible reminder of a child lost.

Emily said...

This is such a lovely gesture, You're good people, Kristie. :)

Anna said...

Kris, that is a gorgeous quilt - and very kind. I agree with Patti, its heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.

AileenAOK said...

Such a thoughtful and kind gift for a mother aching after a grievous loss. I have tears in my eyes after reading this.

Jeannie said...

That is just perfect and will help carry them through this. Something to touch and caress.

Lynne said...

What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. (I am a long way behind with blog reading and am trying to catch up from March forward!)