This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012 (in Spring here!).
If you're new here - thanks so much for popping in - please make yourself comfy and take a look around!
This quilt has it's own story. It's a story I've never shared here because it was waiting for a happy ending. This year, the story got a happy ending so I think I am about ready to share... I want to say though that this post isn't about receiving sympathy, it's a post about a quilt, about finding strength and about making the right decions for yourself.
So like all stories, the best place to start is the beginning. My name is Lara and I was raised in a very loving Christian family. My parents worked very hard to raise my older brother and I. My father worked on average 70 hours + a week while I was growing up to provide a nice home for us and to put good food on our table. My mother worked very hard too and I am grateful to them both for many things.
My Christian upbringing has definitely cemented a lot of values and principals that I am trying to teach my own children, but a few years ago I chose not to follow a particular religion anymore. This broke my parents hearts and shortly thereafter I learnt that my partner and I were expecting our Oliver.
My parents found this particularly difficult to understand and while I know this wasn't an easy for decision for them at the time, they felt that their only option was to have nothing to do with me and my growing little family.
It wasn't easy, but I was lucky to have a very supportive and loving partner with a very large, loving and supportive family. During this time I learned how to stand on my own. How to listen and be guided by own voice and how to be a mother and partner. I realised that friends are the family we pick for ourselves and that by surrounding yourself with good people, you can create a circle of love.
I also learned that there's no family quite like your own and while I desperately missed my parents and my older brother, the most important lesson I learned was to change what you can change and to live my life the way I wanted to with my family. We added another son and got married, travelled and had a lot of fun.
Of course that didn't stop me thinking about my parents often and in my head I decided some years ago to make my parents a quilt a for their 40th wedding anniversary. In 2009 I made them this little runner for their 36 wedding anniversary which I entered into my first ever bloggers quilt festival. I've always been very proud of their marriage and happy that after many years of being together, they still love each other. When I saw this quilt kit by Fig Tree Quilts I thought it was perfect. So I ordered it. It was a layby arrangement - the first payment was made in December, the second in January and the third in March when it was finally shipped.
A month after ordering the kit, I needed to contact my mother to find out about my family history and medical conditions upon the request of a specialist... this led to a phone call (the first in many years!), a few text message exchanges, and ultimately a meeting in late January to forgive and move forward. My parents finally met my children (then aged 4 and 2) and they've been happily involved in their lives ever since.
Even though their 40th wedding anniversary isn't until next year, I decided to make the quilt for their 39th wedding anniversary instead. It just seemed to be the right time and thing to do. So earlier this month I posted the quilt to my parents with a few other gifts from the boys. Fortunately, my mum loves the quilt and it's happily residing on their bed.
While I made the quilt I thought about all the things my parents had taught me and how they shaped my life. I thought about the good things and the bad things and the kind of mother I want to be to my boys. While my parents probably still don't completely understand the decisions I made and I don't completely understand the decisions they made, I am glad that we have got to a place in our lives when we realise what's important and can move forward.
So there you have it! I told you this quilt had a story of it's own, and if you managed to make it to the very end of this post thank you. Hug and love your family and your friends always.
Thank you Amy for hosting another wonderful Bloggers Quilt Festival. Don't forget to check out all the other wonderful entries here.
Fabric - California Girl by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda
Pattern - Boardwalk (with modified boders)
Size - 62" x 62"
Quilting - all over Cathedral pattern by my wonderful LAQ