This quilt was a project begun by my daughter in 2002 when her Grade 11 English teacher was confined by her doctor to bed rest during a high-risk pregnancy.
With great urgency, we made hearts backed with fusing and students in the class wrote messages of encouragement to their beloved teacher.
Unfortunately, the teacher lost the baby before the quilt could be completed. My daughter was exceedingly distraught and insisted that all work on the quilt stop. I did as my daughter asked, stopping all work, but over the years I always felt wistful that such wonderful messages of encouragement would never be read by the teacher.
By 2006, when my daughter was 20, I assembled the quilt top and showed it to my daughter. She said she liked it, but insisted that it would be too painful to give it to the teacher.
In 2011, I decided to quilt the top and bind it, hoping that at age 25, my daughter would be able to see beyond the personal tragedy to the warmth and encouragement that emanate from the messages in the quilt. None of the messages mentions the baby or pregnancy. Instead, they focus on how much fun the students had in her English class and how they will miss her. My daughter is not quite ready to agree that the quilt should be gifted to the teacher. It appears that she is pondering, weighing the pros and cons. I feel strongly that this must be my daughters decision to gift it and I am hopeful that someday she will understand the powerful impact this comfort quilt could have for her former teacher.
Don’t we all want to know we are loved and appreciated? Despite never having met the teacher nor having any personal experience with losing a baby, my emotions well up I read the messages, knowing that a part of her heart will always bear the wound of this lost child. Perhaps knowing that the class she was forced to leave cared enough to make a quilt would help soothe her soul. What do you think?
Here is one of the blocks that makes me chuckle. Wouldn’t an English teacher enjoy this one:
And just love to see these: