I’ve always had a vivid imagination. The magical worlds I experienced in my thoughts as a child were intricate and delightful.
Unfortunately, nightmares were just as detailed. There were many nights that I woke up screaming for my parents, who’d run in and comfort me. As I got older I wanted to try comforting myself. So I hatched a plan and repeated these words aloud, “I am safe, warm & loved.” I am safe. I’m not in danger right here right now. I am warm. I can feel the covers, pillow, and my body heat. I am loved. Thinking about the people who love me helps fear dissipate.
I made this quilt with Sam Hunter’s paper-pieced alphabet for the gallery in her book, Quilt Talk. It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to spell out. Then I remembered the childhood affirmation. What would you say if you could say anything?
My niece was born just a few days ago on April 2nd. Her parents chose the name Mary Constance, a name rich with meaning… which still gets me all flustered when I speak it aloud. Her first name comes from both of her grandmothers: Mary and Maria. Pictured first is her Dad’s mom, Maria. She’s Mexican, living in Boston temporarily… which means she’s around to help out. She gives very nice, soft, gentle hugs.
Here’s her Mom’s mom, my mother, Mary. She passed away years ago. I like to think that baby Mary got some love from her before she arrived. I know that my mom would just be overjoyed to have a grandchild. Mary’s middle name is also a family name. Her great-grandmother’s late sister was named Constance. I know her only in stories as Connie, my Aunt Lisa’s mother and grandma’s sister. What a wonderful tribute to her memory.
I started a quilt for baby Mary when I came to her baby shower in January. Since Mom and Dad were keeping her name a secret, I had family members write down their guesses for her name. Some of the guesses are pretty funny, like “Top Secret” and “Hey You!” Now that her name has been announced it’s time to work that quilt. It will have Sam Hunter’s paper-pieced letters in the center with her actual name and the hand-written guesses surrounding it.