a quilt for natasha & jacob

Mar 29, 2011

Many of you read about Daniel passing away last week and the heartbreak all of us involved have felt. Daniel’s funeral on Saturday was incredibly moving. His extended family flew and drove in from all over the country to grieve together and to support Jacob and Natasha in the burial of their first and only child. The gathering of Jacob’s parents and siblings had a profound effect on me. It showed me what family can be. It showed me a picture of what I am trying to create in my own home. The closing prayer at the funeral was especially touching. Jacob’s brother, Nathan, pleaded with God above to comfort all the mothers who have lost a child or had to deal with an injured child. I sat in my pew and sobbed. Most of the time I am at peace with my ten children who haven’t made it into my arms, but Nathan’s words brought up all the pain again. After I was done sobbing for myself, I sobbed for all of the children and mothers and fathers who have been separated by death. I sat and cried for quite a while and let all of those emotions come out.

This life is not for the faint of heart. The grief we feel can be overwhelming at times. I want to take all the grief away, but I cannot, for it is part of God’s plan and it is essential that we experience the grief in order to know the joy.

I am grateful I have had the opportunity to share this difficult time with my friends. I can’t imagine what they are feeling, but I know their hearts are heavy.

I felt a compelling desire to make them something tangible that they could hold onto when they can’t hold on to their son’s body. Even though sewing is such a challenge for me, I decided to make them a quilt. An easy quilt mind you, but a quilt none the less. I’m sure it took me five times longer than it would have taken a competent person, but maybe the hours I spent on it and all the uneven stitches will show just how much love I put into it.

Designing it:


Here it is all laid out, ready to sew:


After this point, my machine went into crazy, thread-skipping convulsions and I spent hours trying to fix it, sewing, unpicking, sewing, unpicking, screaming, and then finally giving up and using Blythe’s machine that only knows how to sew at sloth-speed or racehorse-speed. Whenever I sew on it, I feel like I am riding a bucking horse and my end results show it.

Hours later it was finally done, crooked and unevenly-spaced seams and lots of love all thrown together to make an adorable creation.

Here it is sewn and ready for binding:


I have never made a quilt and certainly have never bound a thing in my life, so I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I watched some YouTube movies, read scores of directions, and was still terrified of completely ruining it. Then, last night at about 1 a.m. Jessica emailed me and said if I cleaned her kitchen she would do my binding for me. Of course, I hopped right in the car to go scrub down her kitchen and see a lovely binding quickly put into place. She showed exactly what to do so I can do it on my own next time, but I think that may be next to impossible.

Bound and ready to be washed so it fluffs up and frays:




Now I just need to trim all the threads that went crazy in the wash.


Jessica is simply amazing. Her finishing skills were just what was needed to make this quilt adorable. Thank you, dear friend! I will clean your kitchen anytime you want to sew something fabulous for me.

I hope Natasha and Jacob love it and that this small gift of love helps heal their broken hearts.

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  1. Tracy, I love love love that quilt! It’s wonderful!

  2. Anne

    a DOR able!!!!! Good for you Tracy! What a nice thing to do. And how very lovely of Jessica. [Seriously, you were both up at 1 am?] So glad you have wonderful friends. I’m so sorry for Natasha and Jacob. But they are blessed to have good family and friends. Love you!

  3. jessica

    Anne- We were! Aren’t we nuts? She didn’t leave until 4 a.m. It was marvelous!

  4. Jessica, I’d call that a perfect kind of nuts! Tracy, I like the colors and prints you used… it’s such a soothing combination, and I’m sure it will be well-loved.

    • tracy

      Thank you Liz! I hope they love it! Giving it to them tomorrow!

  5. LaPriel

    I love the quilt too! What kind of machine do you have?

    • tracy

      I have a 30 year old Kenmore simple machine that my mama gave me for my 8th birthday. Blythe’s machine is one of those $99 specials from Hancock. Both are horrid! I really need a better machine, but there are no funds for that, so I am trying to make things work with these two.

  6. Anne

    I’d buy you a new machine but I don’t know if you will ever get it. Remember the Vita Mix container? You never got it . . . or the pressure cooker. I’m so confused about stuff like this. But seriously, I’m so proud of you making that quilt!!!!!! Shocked, and proud.

    • tracy

      The vita-mix is on its way…finally! So frustrating! The rep lost the paperwork and so Sam’s and I have had to submit our receipts to them…but I finally got April in Management to solve the problem and it should be here soon!!! Yippee! I can’t wait to make a full 64 oz. smoothie!

      The pressure cooker still hasn’t been used. I’m a little scared of it. I don’t really know how to use it…wanna come and give me a class? I’m sure it will be enormously handy once we figure it out, but we haven’t made that leap yet.

      I went and looked at Janome machines today while I was in town for Shakespeare. That is what Kat recommended. I think I am going to start saving my pennies for the one that is $699 and then if I trade in a machine on it, they knock $200 off the price, so it would be $499. It is their simplest computerized model. They had a machine there that was $7999…can you even imagine? I guess if sewing was a person’s income and they needed all those features…but it still seems crazy to me.

  7. Robyn

    Perfect! My aunt gave me quilt after my son passed away. As she gave it to me she wrapped me in it and said, “this is not a blanket, it is a HUG!” That blanket is used every night in my home. Bless you for showing your love.

  8. Anne

    Well, I’ll pay half. Do you like Singers? I love the one at the school in the Home Ec room. Of course, it’s not computerized but the stitches are beautiful. And it’s probably 20 years old. I love my Kenmore, too. But it’s nothing special and I’ve always wished it had the blanket stick instead of the slanted one.

    • tracy

      Everyone I have talked to has said that Singer’s are not at all what they used to be. Janome, Babylock, Bernina, and Pfaff are the most reliable brands now…at least that is what I am learning. Does the school ever sell their old machines?

  9. i love the colors and the design of this quilt. When will you get to work on quilt number two?

  10. tracy

    April, perhaps you are just being kind, but your praise means the world to me! The next quilt is a reverse of this one and I thought I would do it right away, but now I know I need to wait until I can get a new sewing machine. Mine did such a terrible job and was INCREDIBLY aggravating that I know if I wait until I save up my pennies and get a machine that works well that I will be much happier.

    I DREAM of making quilts like yours. You inspire greatness within me even though it may not ever figure out a way to come out!


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