Two and a half hours later, my daughters and I walked out of the fabric store. We were filled-to-the-brim with excitement at the prospect of making a quilt — especially Piper, our 8-year-old daughter.
She inspired our trip to the fabric store. Since pre-school, Piper’s primary play has revolved around a small chest full of scarves, large and small, and scraps of fabrics. She tucks, folds and wraps combinations of patterns to create ever-evolving runway-ready couture.Project Runway has nothing on Piper.
About a month ago, she started sewing. She asked me to show her how to do a couple of basic stitches. Since then, given a few minutes of downtime, Piper is sure to be sitting in the middle of a nest of swatches creating her newest line of pillows. (What her pillows are stuffed with is somewhat a mystery to the rest of the family. As yet another pillow keeps appearing, we’re beginning to check our closets.)
For Piper, our trip to the fabric store was monumental. One thing or the other had resulted in our trip being postponed for nearly a week, but Piper remained patient. By the time we pulled up to the store, I could have taken her to Disneyworld and she wouldn’t have been more excited. I explained to her (and her sister, who wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic) that we were going to make a family quilt.
Quilting bee visions have long filled my head with joy. The idea of sitting in a circle, working together on a thing of beauty, talking about things of complete and little consequence is close to utopia for me. I know there’s no way for the real thing to be what I imagine, but I wouldn’t be the mother this child deserves without trying.
During our fabric store expedition, the three of us measured each decision – and there were plenty — as one of complete calico consequence. Could the yellow gingham hold its own against such bold paisleys and polka dots? (It could.) Would the green floral detract from the combination of pinks and oranges? (It would.) Did we really need the ginger/cherry/carrot stripes? (We did.)
Taking the time and energy to be invested in such decisions did my heart good. Sometimes it’s healthy to think about nothing more than, “Does this pink go with that yellow?”
Piper was already on Cloud Nine, but with each scissor snip, she went up a level.
We were in the car headed home before I realized just how much time had passed – a demonstration of the elasticity of time. When we walked in our house, I had to get back to work.
Piper took the fabrics and notions from the bag and placed them on the table. She stood back and admired the bright colors and thread and took a big sigh.
“I think God did the right thing by giving me to you,” she said.
I do too, dear Piper. I do too.