Family, My Life with God

Snippets of Life


My mom has made all her kids and grandkids some sort of gifts from my dad’s jeans and plaid shirts—his uniform-of-choice for years. Several months ago, she mentioned getting rid of some of the remaining clothes she had kept, since she probably wouldn’t make many more quilts or other items out of them.

I realized she was the only one in the family who didn’t have something made from my dad’s things. So, I got crafty in more ways than one. She’s observant, and despite my efforts, I couldn’t sneak anything out of her house without her knowing. I waited until she’d be out of town, then let the neighbor know what I was up to, so he didn’t call the police (or her!). When I snuck in, I did nothing but get the material. No getting a drink, opening the frig, using the bathroom, walking through the house. I assumed she would notice. I got what I needed and left.

Then I got crafty with my supplies. It was a simple, quick project, but it took me a while. Other commitments seemed to overshadow my need to get the blanket done. I waited longer than usual to finish it. But when I did, I enjoyed it. It went smoothly. I stayed up late to wrap it up and wash and dry it to give it the final fluff.

In a way, I felt as if my dad was helping me with the gift for my mom. Not that he knew a thing about sewing. And he wouldn’t have been patient enough to cut squares or trim threads or cut tiny slits to create the frayed seams. In practical terms, he wouldn’t have been very helpful at all. Yet I felt as if he and I were in the process together. So many memories—not just my memories with him but the memories my mom has with him.

The blanket is not fancy at all. The seams aren’t perfect. The design is random. But it’s a reminder of the life they lived together. It’s years of outside chores and meals together. It’s projects and crises. It’s laughter and tears. It’s important stuff and stupid stuff. It’s adventures and routine.

It’s snippets of life.

7 thoughts on “Snippets of Life”

  1. I love this! Your experience reminds me of a similar one. Six years ago after my dad died, I gathered up his t-shirts and made my mom a quilt. With the scraps, I made each of my siblings a wreath. It was a way of reconnecting to our snippets of life with Dad.

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  2. My mother in law is a quilter, and we cherish each and every one she has made. From the white wedding quilt to the duplicate blue and white state fair ribbon winner (she made a second one and gave them to my sister in law and me—but we don’t know which was the ribbon winner or duplicate, lol) and the Precious Moments twin size quilts she made our daughters, each one tells its own story. My husband is planning on retiring in the next year or so after he turns 65. I have been quietly collecting the work shirts he has had over the years with the name changes of our workplace and different colors. Once my weight lifting restriction is off, I am going to be spending time with her trying to figure out how to quilt, although since she is in a small apartment now she no longer has her large quilting frame. So we will probably piece it and have it quilted. But hoping we can keep it a surprise!

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    1. I am laughing at the confusion over which is the original and which is the duplicate! I doubt I could ever make one that is so close to an original! What a great idea to make a work shirt quilt, and what a fun venture to make it with his mom! Be sure to let me know how it goes!

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