Friday, July 30, 2010

A Quilt for Anne Michelle

Anne Michelle's Quilt - top
Originally uploaded by emedoodle
This week I threw myself into a project, not simply for the sake of sewing, but for the sanity that sewing gives me. Monday morning I got a text from my best friend Michelle -- we live about 400 miles away from each other, so understandably we have many other best friends too --- anyway, her very good friend Leslie (and husband Kevin) were anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first child, and I was excited to hear the news that he/she was born. Instead I got a text that I hope no one else ever has to read. Leslie's baby was stillborn. She was full term and had a completely healthy pregnancy. No sign of any problem until just a short time before Anne was born, when they lost the read on her heartbeat. She was born via C-section although they had already found out that she was no longer alive.

My friend Michelle was there as Leslie's secondary support person. She got to hold little perfect Anne Michelle just once. They were given time with her to accept the loss, and to marvel at her perfect beauty.

I can't explain how it feels to recieve this news. I mean, my own daughter was born with hearing loss - something that never crossed our mind during the pregnancy. My sister has a child (now 4) who has been battling cancer since she was a year old. I know that parenting comes with a lot of surprises. But this was/is too much. Leslie had the most joyous day of her life taken from her. This is her first child (second really, after one miscarriage) - her first chance for that happy memory. It's shattered.

After hearing this news I knew immediately that I had to start a project to keep my mind busy. I knew it was going to be something little and delecate, and pink. This is what I got from there. A little (22" x 25.5") quiltie for Leslie and Kevin. Although I have never met them, I feel like I know them very closely - through my friend Michelle. All I can think of is that they left the hospital without a baby to hold. So empty, at least this little quilt can be something to fill their arms. Even though she's not here to enjoy it, I felt that Anne deserved a quilt for her own too. Something that can just be a gentle reminder of the joy and excitement and sorrow that came with her little life, that was shared completely within her own mother's body. I wish there was more that I could do, but this is my talent, and it's for them this week.

A little more on the details, I made this out of some leftover fabric from a shirt I made Allie when she was a baby, I didn't have very much left, and I really had wanted to bind it with the pink too... I ran out. This is my first real attempt at embroidering words onto a quilt, and it's pretty cool... not perfect, but pretty. Also my first attempt at close strait line quilting, and before doing more of it I'll definately invest in a walking foot. (duh)... it got a little wonkified there in the middle and I had to scramble to fix it. The back is some of the "lorenza" by Alexander Henry that I got from winning the one yard wonder thing. I wanted the back to be free and fun, as Anne is now up in heaven waiting for us.

For the souls of the faithfully departed, by the mercy of God, may they rest in peace!


  1. How very sad! I am crying for people I don't even know. Makes you stop and realize how precious these dear children are, even as they are pounding on my keyboard and ripping up the grocery list I am writing.
    What a beautiful quilt. I know they will love it.

  2. I am just devastated for the family. I can not even fathom what they must be feeling right now...and all of their loved ones, too. I'll be saying some prayers for all.

    The quilt you have made for them is beautiful and I know that they will treasure it always.