Tuesday, June 06, 2006

We built our home in 1990. We dreamed of this 2-story home with a wrap around porch, and dormers peaking through the roof. In reality we built a 1-story ranch with a small porch for two rocking chairs. I’ve said before, very few people build their dream home--- most make it their dream home. We were indeed proud of our home.

I was never risky when it came to color… remember the days of white wallpaper with little blue flowers. Well, that was pretty much me. The one risk I took was my kitchen counter top and it was country blue. It was incredibly hard to match, showed every water spot, and it was terribly permanent. You don’t change your kitchen counter top every day.

I made this quilt to hang in the breakfast area. It had my two favorite quilt blocks in it. That is the Flying Geese block and the North Wind block. The pattern was from an issue of APQ back in the early 90’s. We had no quilt store or fabric store close by. I had small kids and Don worked a lot so the only fabric source I had was a Shopko, which was kind of like Wal-Mart. The blues and pinks in the houses are from dresses I had made my daughter. Gray fabric was in real short supply. The lady that designed the pattern even said so. To get the snowy shadowy effect she even used the back side of the gray fabric for additional color and so did I.

My sewing room is in our basement. And that is where this quilt top was when our house caught fire December 30, 1995. It started in the chimney. We weren’t there. We had taken our kids to an afternoon matinee. I’ve relived the ‘what ifs’ a million times. What if we were sleeping? What if it had been at night and no one from the road had seen? What if? What if? Any way we had to rebuild the middle third of our home in the dead of winter. I was bitter. I felt like the world was picking on me. I finally went down after two or three weeks to see how bad things were in the sewing room. The fire never reached there, but the water damage was evident as it poured from the ceiling above. I looked at the quilt top. Brown stains covered it. I started to throw it away, but with angry, teary eyes threw it across room.

Three months later, when we moved back in the house, I took the quilt top and attempted to get the stains out. I did a pretty good job; you can only see them up real close. But I decided some things aren’t meant to be forgotten. Maybe I was meant to remember what happened and learned from it. It’s a gentle reminder of what doesn’t break you makes you stronger…. It could have been so much worse—Hey—I got a new kitchen counter top out of the deal, a nice neutral pebble beach colored one…

So I finished the quilt and bring the quilt out in January every year to remind me…

Until tomorrow--- live up today.


Laura said...

I love how each quilt tells a story! Our home was robbed in the early 90's and I remember that bitter feeling oh so well! I am glad you finished the quilt!

Tracey said...

I made that same quilt too! LOVE it! I have a picture somewhere on my blog of it.

You have a wonderful attitude about the fire. When awful things happen, we often aren't able to see past the hurt/pain/anger to the wonderful oppurtunity of *growth*. You were able to look past it...good for you! :o)

Jeanne said...

What a beautiful inspiration this story is! How wonderful that you still have your special quilt, and all that it represents.
Hugs ~ Jeanne

Finn said...

What an amazing story! I never would have expected the quilt to survive. And against those odds..I'm so glad you didn't pitch it out. As quilters that's what we do, piece things together, again if necessary!
Glad you got a new counter out of it..*VBS*