It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing, sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.
There is nothing like a handmade gift stitched from the heart.
Throughout my quilting life, I gave away more quilts than I kept. Baby quilts were my favorite although many times I didn't get them finished before the babies were born. And the friend or relative whose delivery was timely...well, they just lucked out.
Twenty years ago, a dear high school friend of mine (and an EJD) had a baby, and she was the recipient of one of my quilts. It is actually my favorite of all the baby quilts I have made. The pattern is called Baby Bricks, and it was made out of 1930's reproduction fabrics--pastel colors with fun, whimsical prints. I used cotton batting which gave it an antique look, which I adore.
When I decided on my poetry project, I knew I wanted to feature this quilt, but I only had one picture of it, which was taken on an old Kodak camera. I messaged my friend and asked if she had any pictures of it. I can't tell you the joy I felt knowing that she actually still had the quilt, AND it hadn't fallen apart! As her husband finished taking the photos to send to me, he said, "This is irreplaceable."
And so are friends!
I paired this quilt with a Nonet poem, a nine-lined poem with an additional syllable in each line. I tried to give the appearance of brick steps.
a gift from God.
Twenty years ago,
you wrapped her in this gift,
a gift from my hands and heart.
The tiny steps on baby bricks
mark the beginning of her journey.
A big thank you to all of those at Two Writing Teachers for creating and supporting a community for teacher-writers.