Sorry for going all incommunicado lately…most of my quilting activities lately haven’t warranted photos. I finished the binding on the Triangle Owl quilt during the Super Bowl and a Lizard Lick Towing marathon. I am almost halfway finished piecing and constructing the Cricket Blocks quilt top. For the Block of the Month quilt, the ladies at Little Quilts helped me choose a sashing material. It was tough. I thought I needed to pick a neutral, like a beige print. They told me instead to chose what color I wanted the entire quilt to be. I chose a red print that has touches of purple. (Photos coming SOON) It picks up all the colors of the blocks beautifully. What good advice!
I was also busy working on Valentine’s for Dogs Deserve Better. They send Valentine cards to dog owners as a positive way to encourage them to take their dogs off chains or out of lonely pens and bring them in their homes. It’s a remarkable charity–they purchased the infamous Bad Newz Kennels and turned it into an animal shelter. Children at MVPS made Valentines too and they are beyond sweet and touching. I’ll post the entire group on Biscuit & Skyler’s blog in a day or two (but might post a couple here).
I’m thinking about Valentine’s Day in a new way now. Maybe it shouldn’t just be about romantic love (though, that’s good too). I have been pondering all the ways you can show people that you love and care about them. A Facebook Group called One Bag caught my attention a few weeks ago. They had a list of items to put in a grocery bag…like toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, snacks, bottled water, ramen noodles, pen, paper and stamps, shaving cream and razor, tampons, contact info for shelters and clinics, etc. You carry it with you in your car and give it to people in need. Mom and I spent two days last week assembling our bags. I was especially moved to work on this project after being approached by three people in one week: a woman holding a sleeping toddler in the Kroger parking lot asking for help with rent and food, a man on the side of the highway asking for work, and a man in a parking lot in a rough neighborhood asking for food. The bags may not have everything they need, but we want them to know we care, that they matter and we won’t ignore them. We hope we can show them love and compassion in a constructive way.
My son is my greatest example of that kind of selfless love. I can’t take all the credit for how amazing he is. His elementary school was wonderfully diverse, with children from over 30 different countries. Many of the parents worked multiple jobs to support their families. Quite a few of the children came to school hungry, ate one subsidized lunch, and went home to be hungry again. They wore secondhand clothes, clean but worn. Patrick came home one day after school in January, where, unbeknownst to me, he had been carrying around the Christmas money he had received from his great-grandparents…a crisp $100 bill. When he got home that day, he told me that he had given it to someone. I was concerned and a little upset at first, until he (a big third grader) explained that he had been keeping an eye on a first grader, a little boy who was always hungry, always dirty and very shy. Patrick gave him the money. I don’t know what became of the little boy, but I hope it helped him and his family. And I hope that he understood that someone noticed him and cared deeply. I have told this story many times, and I cry every time I tell it. Patrick gave of himself, unconditionally, without hesitation, without any expectations of gratitude. Oh, the lessons our children teach us. He is growing up to be a phenomenal young man, with a heart that knows no boundaries and gives all its love.
So who are you going to love on this Valentine’s Day? Spread it around and share it with everyone. Like Dr. Gil says, “the love in your heart wasn’t meant to stay, love isn’t love until you give it away”.