As soon as we started dyeing fabric last fall, Amos asked if we could use the fabric to make him a quilt. The last quilt I made him was crib sized, the wonky stars quilt that I stitched together when I was pregnant, over five years ago. He turned 5 on Tuesday and, while I made this quilt sporadically over months I managed to quilt it within a few weeks and have it finished for his birthday.
Not many of my projects have felt as meaningful as making this quilt. From dyeing the fabric with kitchen scraps, foraged plants, and purchased dye material to cutting and piecing it all together, I was connected to every step. These flying geese come from the hot days of late summer, the excitement of trying a new plant to see what colors I might find. I found their shape and pattern on cold winter evenings, ironing, cutting and stitching next to the wood stove. I pondered what color would be best for the quilt’s back and realized I would have to attempt indigo dyeing to make the quilt what I really wanted. A complete novice to indigo dyeing, I managed, somehow, to dye the soft cotton flannel a color that reminds me of the sky as it begins to darken and the stars start to appear.
For me, this quilt has embodied a labor of love. Love for making and trying and learning different processes, love for pattern and color, love for the process and the slow and steady stitches that keep it all together. And in doing something that I truly love to do, creating something soft and cozy for my Amos who I love so much. I tend toward gratuitous metaphors but the labor, the beauty, the challenge, how very imperfect it is feels like a tiny scrap of the big picture of five years of doing the best I can for this creative, curious, stubborn child of mine. And for him, I hope it will be a warm hug, something to drag around the house, bring out to the fort, and use as much as he wants.