I haven’t spent much time in our studio in the past couple months. This space, which was created for Anna, Abigail and myself, feels empty without my girls. Today I spent the afternoon working on Abigail’s quilt square for the Donate Life Northwest’s Threads of Life Quilt. It felt good to dust off my sewing machine and play with fabric again but there is an emptiness in this space that I don’t think can ever be filled.
Usually, starting in mid October, I would spend my days off, from the time the girls went to school till they got home, locked away creating that years collection of Christmas presents. I would go through hundreds of my pins on Pinterest and figure out my projects for the season. I was generally very secretive since a lot of my projects were for the kids. They knew they shouldn’t snoop around if they wanted to be surprised on Christmas morning. Making their gifts brought me so much joy and I loved that they were proud to have something made from their Mama.
I also love the fact the my girls would spend hours creating for Tom and I. We would be told, mainly in the evening hours, that downstairs was off-limits to us. If I started down the steps I could hear the girl’s creative minds collaborating and then they would scream, “don’t come down here”. They sometimes emerged from the depths of the studio with fabric, fancy ribbon or other supplies found tucked away in “my supplies” wondering if they could create with said item. I would make a decision (wishing now I would have always said yes) and they would run back down the steps yelling once again that the studio was off-limits. I wouldn’t dare ruin their creative flow and the creations we have now from those moments are some of our most prized possessions.
This studio of ours is a shared space in our house for the girls and I. Fairy houses, paintings, stepping-stones, matching pajamas, drawings, pillows, baby blankets, hats, beaded necklaces, bracelets, stamp art and many cards, notes and love letters are just a few things that have been made in this space by my girls.
Abigail would turn the radio up real loud and spend hours, a lot of times on her own, hot glueing fairy houses together. Taking a shoe box and cutting cardboard to make rooms for her to later decorate and add little details for the fairies that would eventually visit our house. She also loved to create for Baby Athena, her niece. She would find the softest fabric in our collection and would make blankets and stuffed animals. Each item made with so much love.
Anna, on the other hand, liked to create with her Mama. We would pull out the sewing book and she would take her collection of fabric scraps and create. I tried not to give her ideas or the typical “this is how I would do it” comment so that she would walk away knowing she completed the project all on her own. She was always so proud of the finished product and I was always so proud of her. One night, after she worked really hard in the studio, I went up to her room to kiss her one last time before I went to bed to find this. Her finished product being put to use.
Abigail’s quilt square is completed and I am very happy with how it turned out. I found fabric in her supplies and a drawing of a tree that we planned on putting on one of her sweatshirts this past Fall. The fabric, which made pajamas, pillows for her bed and other creations, are cut into leaves that are sewn around the tree. There is a heart on the tree that holds a big “A” and a little “a”. Under the tree I put a favorite picture of my girls giving muscles on a hike we did this summer on Orcas Island, their names next to the picture.
The square is simple but says so much. I am proud to be able to contribute to the Threads of Life Quilt and look forward to seeing the finished product, the love of so many families brought together to create a beautiful quilt. I know that Abigail would approve my creation but may be a little upset that Anna is in the picture too. I can hear her saying with a bit of frustration in voice, “why does Anna have to do everything I do.” I smile knowing that she is taking such good care of her sister now and I’m sure taking great pride in that fact. Anna sure does love her big sister and I know Abigail adores little Miss Anna.
I love and adore them both and sure do miss creating with them!