Best Birthday Gift EVER!
Do you see that smile? What you don’t see are all the tears I am crying behind the camera. What looks like a quilt given to a little girl is actually a community project that my daughter, my Nana, and I created together when my daughter and I lived in Florida.
Each month, my daughter and I would pack our bags and three hours South to visit my Nana and enjoy time with her. In 2015, we decided to start making a quilt together to share a memory of our time and learn my Nana’s favorite hobby. It was so much fun venturing out to fabric shops and big box stores to find fabric and elements to include on each month’s creation. One of us would create the design. Another would execute it by placing each of the items on the square. And my Nana would sew them to the square and put them away for safe keeping.
Well, life happens and in October 2015 we had to move home to CT without warning. We left within a week of learning we had to leave there wasn’t a lot of time to wrap up three months of squares to go ahead and finish the quilt. The squares sat and my daughter and I have been sad that we didn’t keep our commitment that we said to one another about making some squares to surprise Nana and then send them to her. (I bought all the materials and we let them sit aside due to life changing so drastically from what we had in Florida.)
So you can imagine our shock when she opened her birthday present this past week and found the following quilt!
Let’s zoom in closer and take a look at each of the nine months and how we represented them.
January is not winter in Florida when you come from New England, but we thought since it was winter back home it would be fun to do Olaf and represent Winter in New England and our thankfulness for NOT BEING THERE to enjoy it! We were loving our flip flip flops and sandals, and that we could still go swimming all year long down in Florida. Though the temperatures did drop a few times, we loved that we didn’t have to shovel A SINGLE TIME!
February is my daughter’s birthday so we designed a cake with colorful layers to represent her personality.
In March, we designed this one around the expression “April showers bring May flowers”. We also wanted to highlight that it is Autism Awareness Day, and we have two children on the spectrum within our family. My mind is a bit fuzzy, but I believe the two boys represented two little cousins with birthdays in April. While we created this in April, we already knew what we wanted to do for the next three months so we kind of cheated so we could include Mother’s Day and Father’s day. March itself doesn’t technically have a square.
In April, we created this flowers that would spring forth in May from the April showers. We wanted to have fun and show different types of flowers.
In May, we shared the various ways you could say “Mother” around the world.
In June, we represented the various ways we can celebrate Father’s Day.
For all of June, we had flown home to CT because I was hired to write a movie script and had to meet with the Producer and Author of the book the movie was going to be based upon. So we flew from Florida to CT, and had to skip our monthly visit with Nana. We didn’t come back until July 5th and that month went by so quickly that we didn’t get to fully design everything.
We spent most of our time in August swimming at the pool and visiting the beach, so this was only appropriate!
In September, we just enjoyed time with one another and had selected the following to assemble while we ran off to the beach. We’d decided we could put it together the next month and then…well, we had to move back to CT and never got to design it fully. Our idea was that God had brought us down there and given us the time together so we would show a cross to represent faith and the three girls to represent each of us. But we never talked about the background. I do love the simplicity though.
This was my daughter’s face as she Facetimed my Nana to tell her thank you for the best birthday gift ever!
Do you have a favorite gift ever or something you created the brings that memories of times together with loved ones? Tell us about it in the comments.