The Ultimate Compliment

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I wanted to tell my Mom in a special way. She likes to embroider, so I purchased a quilt top for her to embroider for the baby, wrapped it up and gave it to her as a gift - needless to say, she was thrilled. She embroidered that top, and then gave it to her friend who hand quilted it and finished the edge with prairie points. I was delighted when my Mom gave it to me at my baby shower.

Fast forward - That daughter, Meredith, was just home for her spring break - headed back to BU yesterday. Last night I got a frantic phone call - "Mom - I left my blankie at home" - sometimes they're not as grown up as they think they are. Her blankie is that quilt that my Mom embroidered for her over 20 years ago. Here is her blankie - the embroidery stitches are for the most part history. You can see through it - you can even see where the batting is split. Amazingly the hand quilting stitches are are still holding.
The design on the quilt was a choo-choo train that circled the perimeter with a prayer in the center. Below you can see the needle holes where the train used to be, the red wheels are the only thing left. The border was pink - it's now white, dirty white, same as the embroidered section and the prairie points.
Here you can see a fragment of the embroidery, and the embroidery floss trapped in the quilt sandwich.
This quilt has literally been washed hundreds of times, it's accompanied us on all of our vacations, been cuddled at sleep over camps, it's been cried into, laughed into, it lulls her to sleep and reminds her of home, even while she is away at college. Yes, when it was fresh and new it was beautiful - but, honestly it's more beautiful now - it's been so loved. My Mom couldn't be happier to know that her quilt was so well loved - it's really the greatest compliment!

I just launched a Baby Quilt Challenge for my quilt guild, Calico Cutters of West Chester. I tried to stress to the women to make their quilts sturdy, prepare them for all of the love they're hopefully going to receive. The challenge quilts are due in May - can't wait.

As promised - here are 2 more teasers of my Mom's embroidered blocks - aren't they beautiful? Early next week I'll be posting the full quilt.There are literally hundreds of French knots in this quilt.

The current issue of Fine Cooking has some fantastic recipes - I'm making the roasted lamb for dinner tonight.

My brioche has been resting in the fridge all night - here it is before heading into the oven. This recipe is from the current issue of Fine Cooking as well - check yesterday's blog post for the preparation steps.

And here it is after baking. This was a great recipe - give it a try!