A few weeks ago, two of my dear cousins came to town for a visit and stayed at my grandmother's house. On their last day, we sat together in my grandmother's bedroom on her boldly upholstered sofa, knitting, looking at old scrapbooks, reminiscing, and assessing the future.
One of my favorite things in my grandmother's bedroom, aside from that great sofa, are the throw pillows that cover it. I've said it before but one of the things I love about my grandmother's house is that her handiwork is everywhere. And those pillows are no exception. Some were gifts, some made by her children and many made by her.
To me, they are little gestures that carry so much love, care and effort.
And during the time we spent in her bedroom that Sunday afternoon, I determined that I would make each of the girls a pillow of their own for Valentine's Day this year.
When I was living on my grandmother's farm, she gifted me a small basket of her fabric scraps and many of those fabrics went into the girls' pillows. At the bottom of that basket, I also found a piece of the same fabric that upholsters her bedroom sofa–enough to back each of the girls pillows.
As I ironed and stitched the fabrics together and appliqued a special design on the front of each pillow, for each girl, I said to my husband, "This fabric smells like her still." It made me teary, but happy.
And when those three little girls opened their presents Valentine's morning and pulled out the pillows, they clutched them and buried their noses in them. "This smells like Meemu!" And they recognized that fabric and knew bits of it were from her.
It made all the effort and the sneaking-around sewing, and the borrowed sewing machine, and the stuck fingers, and the ripped out stitches and silly mistakes worth it.