Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Big Pile of Beautiful Fabric

There is a tradition in China to make a Bai Jai Bei, or Good Wishes Quilt. It is a custom to invite people to send patches of cloth along with a note of well wishes for the new baby. The patches are sewn together into a quilt that contains the luck, energy and good wishes of the friends and family members who contributed pieces of fabric. The quilt is then passed down from generation to generation.

While we were waiting for Molly, I collected over 50 squares of fabric for her quilt. I loved looking through the big pile of beautiful fabric, but it was just that: a big pile of beautiful fabric. Since I have no skills in the art of quilting, I was at loss at what to do next.

Meanwhile, half way across the country, one of my very best friends, Anne, was looking through our Journey to Molly website. She came across the link that explained the Bai Jai Bei and showed the big pile of beautiful fabric. She promptly emailed me and asked if she could make the quilt for Molly. "Are you kidding? Of course you can make the quilt!" was my reply. How lucky am I to have such a talented and loving friend? The meaning behind the quilt multiplied one hundred fold the moment she made that offer.

Last summer Molly and I were fortunate enough to visit Anne. In my suitcase was the big pile of beautiful fabric. I left it in Anne's capable hands. I had no idea what to expect, as I gave her very few suggestions. I felt that she was the expert and that she'd know what to do. Boy, did she ever!

This afternoon, Molly and I opened to door to see the FedEx man. In his hands was a box containing the Bai Jai Bei. Molly got the honor of ripping open the wrapping paper and discovering that the big pile of beautiful fabric was now her new quilt. She absolutely loved it!

The first thing she did was to lay it down on the floor and roll herself it.

Then she picked it up and hugged it.

Then she climbed on the sofa and wanted me to cover her with it. It was awesome. It was obvious that she knew it was for her and she bonded with it immediately.

Me? Well I was sitting there with tears rolling down my cheeks (no surprise there!). I never imagined it would be so beautiful! I immediately starting thinking how I was going to display it. My first thought was to hang it on the wall in the nursery.

I was about to go snatch the quilt from my daughter's grasp so it didn't get messed up before it went on display. On my way, I saw a note from Anne sitting on the floor. I chucked out loud as I read it. Here's a direct quote:

Although your Mom and Dad might want to preserve this quilt (by doing something silly like hanging it on a wall or putting it in a drawer) please don't let them! I hope that you will sleep with it, play with it, and take it with you on your adventures. The more it is used, the more worn out it will get, and that will mean you have loved it.

Well, guess who went upstairs to take a nap with a beautiful new quilt dragging behind her!

Anne is part of a group of 7 amazing women who began a friendship 20 years ago in college. Our lives have taken us in all different directions and to different parts of the country, but we have remained dedicated and true. Each person in the group has wonderful qualities that help to cement our friendships with each other. Anne has always been incredibly caring and selfless. I feel honored and grateful that she was the person to make this very special keepsake for Molly

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Anne!

Also, a big thanks to all who contributed beautiful fabric to the big pile!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Awww, it brought tears to my eyes too! What a fabulous keepsake.