Love and Good Luck Rolled Up in a Quilt

This is the greatest story and it led to the sweetest quilt I have made yet. Get your tissues ready!

My daughter-in-law, Naomi, has a wonderful family. (Side note, isn’t it cool that when my son married, I gained not just my DIL but also some really nice friends from her family??)  Included in her family are her mom, two brothers and her sister-in-law. Just today I finished an adorable quilt for her sister-in-law, brother and the baby they are expecting in September. The story of this baby is pretty darned amazing.

Margot and TJ (these are their real names – Margot blogs at Find Your Spark and uses their names publically so I have done the same) have been trying to have a baby for years. This has been a really rough time for them. Margot has been pregnant numerous times and has miscarried at various stages of pregnancy. (This post tells part of her story.) It has been really painful for both of them. I can relate somewhat to this sort of pain. I miscarried a child a long while back. It was my third child and I lost the baby at 14 weeks. It was a painful experience that took some time to grieve. But this happened to me only once. And it was after having two healthy babies and before having two more healthy babies. Margot has gone through this repeatedly and has not (yet) had the joy of holding her baby or bringing the baby home. That sort of pain and frustration is truly torturous.

After years of this, they decided last December to take an alternative route to their goal of having a family. Margot and TJ are working with a surrogate. You can read all about their decision and experience on her blog – the story of the surrogacy begins with this post.  The surrogacy agency they are using is located in Mumbai, India. To say that 2015 has been an exciting year for them is a huge understatement. They went to India at Christmas last year and were able to achieve a successful surrogate pregnancy. They have been in constant communication with the agency and the surrogate mother and everything is going along perfectly. Their sweet baby is due to arrive in September. Margot and TJ will be going back to India in several weeks to wait for the birth of their baby. I am so dang happy for them.

When a quilter knows a new baby is coming there is only one way to respond, right? Today I mailed off this quilt to New York and I am hoping that it brings great joy to Margot and TJ.

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I know that they are incorporating elephants into the baby’s nursery. Elephants are a symbol of good fortune in India and I am pretty sure that Margot and TJ will be forever grateful for this woman who has given of herself to birth their child for them. Good fortune? Oh yeah. In India, elephants  represent Ganesha, one of the most important gods in Hinduism. Ganesha is the god of success and the destroyer of evil and obstacles – perfect! For more details on this, here is a site to read. With elephants being symbolic for their family, I used that as the theme for the quilt.

The pattern is a simple stripe with the two focus fabrics cut in widths ranging from two to six inches. Just like the green and white quilt that I made a few weeks ago, I have the stripes arranged from narrow to wide widths, in alternating order. The pattern is Firefly, by Canoe Ridge Creations. I went with a color scheme of gray and yellow. They don’t know the sex of the baby so these colors are gender-neutral.  Finding this elephant print, “Oh Boy” by Riley Blake was a perfect choice for the backing and binding.

IMG_20150722_3578 Those tiny elephants are sweet in every way. The yellow dot on the front is from the “Mixology” line by Studio for Moda. I can’t honestly remember which gray I used. My favorite part of the quilt is the elephant that I thread sketched at the bottom, on the widest gray stripe.

IMG_20150722_3577To create this little guy I took the backing fabric and made of copy of it on my printer/copier. I kept enlarging it until the size felt right. Then I cut him out and traced a rough shape right on to the quilt. (Actually I made several of them on practice fabric first.) It is hard to tell from the picture but I used three different shades of gray thread so that the elephant would have some definition. I love him. (Why do I keep calling the elephant ‘him’? Is that an omen for Baby Guy? We will know in just two short months!)

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To quilt this piece, I used organic wavy lines that were sewn with my walking foot. I didn’t space them too close as I wanted it to be really soft when washed. The binding is double fold as usual, and I machine stitched it to the front and back. Going for baby-proof durability here. After I washed it, the quilt measured 36″ x 36″. Hopefully this quilt will be used and washed and then used some more. It will hold up well for outings to the park, rolling around on the floor, tummy time, and then eventually fort making, pretend play, and so many naps.

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A quilt filled with good fortune and love all rolled up in one for a very special baby.

Linking to Lorna at Let’s Bee Social and Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts.

35 thoughts on “Love and Good Luck Rolled Up in a Quilt

  1. Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

    What a sweet quilt full of love for a very deserving couple. I hope that everything goes very well and they bring home a healthy baby in September. I love the thought of all the elephants to remember the surrogate and good fortune.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Yvonne. I am so happy for this little family and cannot wait to see pictueoof the baby! It has been such a long process for them and they are incredibly excited to be so close to meeting this baby.

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Emma. Learn something new every day, right? I love the symbolism of the elephant in this situation.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. JanineMarie

    Oh, I truly hope this story has a glorious ending and a beautiful new beginning. It is so painful to lose a child prior to birth–losing someone you never really got to know. I can’t even imagine losing five. Your quilt is so sweet! I really like how you did the thread sketch. Elephants are just so fun and this one will carry extra meaning. I need to remember how you did the quilt front. I will need that idea for a project very soon.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Janine. The wavy lines are a breeze with the walking foot. (Wayyy easier than doing them free motion) I have a feeling this story will have the best ending, they should be meeting their baby so soon!

      Reply
  3. Tina Iaquinto

    What a beautiful story! And the quilt is just as beautiful! I love all the elephant touches! Great job!!

    Reply
  4. Linda

    A beautiful story and a beautiful quilt. Love your thread sketched elephant. So cute! Good luck to everyone involved.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you for Linda! The thread sketching was really fun. Makes me want to do more of it. Something new to palay around with! So glad you stopped by.
      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  5. Denise

    I really love the story and the finished quilt! You did an amazing job stitching the elephant – I’m sure the different greys are more noticeable in person 🙂 Best wishes to the family.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! I love this story too as it is finally coming to a fantastic conclusion for their family. I really enjoyed stitching the elephant. So glad you stopped by. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Mari

    What a great gift this sweet quilt will be! I LOVE the thread-sketched elephant. It’s the perfect addition. Some of our friends have a statue of Ganesha in a niche in the front hallway of their home. The niche is painted deep yellow, which nearly matches the yellow in your quilt! I think that’s a good omen!

    Truly lucky parents to have such great friends. Wishing all of them much happiness!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you! And yes, I bet that is a good omen. I love the yellow and gray- I haven’t made anything in that palette before. I cannot wait to find out if they are having a boy or girl! Not too much longer now. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      You will enjoy Margot’s writing Deb. Let her know of your support. I am sure she’d love to hear from you. They are going to be the best parents. 🙂
      (I love that elephant too!)

      Reply
  7. Daisy

    My brother-in-law is from India, and he and my sister loved elephants for my nieces room. It’s wonderful that your friends have found some good fortune, and I know they’ll enjoy the quilt. It’s beautiful!

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      How funny – after you mentioned that to me I hurried to check the trunks on the fabric! They are facing upward and bringing good fortune to this baby. Glad you like it. Hope they do too 🙂

      Reply
  8. Carie

    Oh what a wonderful wonderful reason to be making a quilt after so much heartache. I hope it’s used for many many cuddles with such a treasured baby

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Thank you Kelly. I appreciate the compliment as I am just getting the hang of thread sketching. It is a blast!

      Kind regards,
      Bernie

      Reply
  9. Deb

    There is something so special about making and giving a quilt for a baby. Your quilt is beautiful…I wish the parents the very best in the exciting journey ahead as parents.
    Deb

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Deb,
      You are so right. Babies and quilts go together perfectly. Thank you for your good wishes-parenthood is such a journey and they have gone through so much just to get this far.

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  10. Sandra

    Ah, elephants! This is the second elephant quilt I’ve read about this morning, both just terrific quilts. Love your threadplay guy, and if the backing fabric, which is just too darn adorable, is called Oh Boy…I’m thinking it has to be an omen…

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Haha Sandra…. You’re so right. The fabric is another omen. Maybe this really is a boy!! We shall see!

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply
  11. Linda

    Oh my gosh Bernie! You did such a beautiful job. I love the simple pattern, the colors and choice of fabrics, the quilting, and your perfect thread elephant. I think the way you incorporated the baby’s culture is so neat!
    Wonderful post. I got lucky with my DIL too; not only is she is the best person ever, but her family is lovely as well.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much. This was a fun really fun project and I am so excited for TJ and
      Margot. Going to India and bringing home their baby… Hard to even imagine!
      Hope all is well with you and that you are enjoying your weekend.

      Reply
  12. Penny G

    I read the touching stories Margot shared and believe that this quilt will be very special to her and to TJ. They have been through so much but remain strong and faithful with hope and joy as their path markers. Great reason to make a quilt.

    Reply
    1. Bernie Post author

      Penny, what a wonderful sentiment. I love the phrasing ‘with hope and joy as their path markers’. Thanks for coming by to visit!

      Take care,
      Bernie

      Reply

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