Homemade.

Dear friends,

Homemade.

Today, the word evokes many positive connotations. Bespoke. Custom. Handcrafted. Artisanal.

But depending when and where you grew up, homemade could easily mean inferior. Makeshift. Unrefined.

When I was 10 years old, my mother made me a fabric-covered bulletin board for my room. One day, a very popular girl a year older than me visited my house and when she saw my bulletin board, she asked where I got it.

“My mom made it for me,” I said.

“Hmmmm,” she said, giving it a long look. “It looks cruddy enough to be homemade.”

Please don’t rush to judgement because I’m not trying to embarrass my friend. I’m guessing she has no memory of her words or that day and I don’t believe I’ve ever reminded her. And lord only knows what came out of my mouth at that age. I’m just grateful that nature’s greatest coping mechanism is failed memory so that I’ve forgotten the worst of my embarrassing or careless moments.

And, yes, the words stung a little, but the girl was otherwise so sweet and so adorable — and I so wanted to be her friend — that I didn’t hold it against her. To the contrary, her words became my own private joke that I’ve quoted innumerable times in my lifetime, especially lately as I’ve tackled quilting.

To wit:

heartquilt

My latest quilt presented no shortage of frustrations.  The design is my own and even though I’m pleased, I was mightily challenged. I tried several new products and techniques this go-around (including a higher loft wool batting that was tricky to work with), and the result was a bit “rustic.” As I eyed my many mistakes while hand-stitching the binding, I chuckled and thought to myself “Yep, this one definitely looks cruddy enough to be homemade.”

So it’s rather fitting that the quilt is going to the woman who coined those words decades ago, don’t you think?

She found new love a couple of years ago and, last month, she gave birth to beautiful twins, a girl and a boy.  I haven’t seen her in several years but I couldn’t be happier for her. As soon as I saw photos of her twins on Facebook, I just knew I had to make those babies a quilt.

Here’s the full view:

quiltfullview

And here’s a close up of the backing fabric, which I love because it’s peppered with soft colors, sweet sentiments, a rustic alphabet and, of course, my favorite . . . owls.

quiltback2

Bonnie Bea — I wish you and your hubby all the love in the world.  (And Batt and Jennie all the warmth and comfort a homemade quilt can provide.)

With gratitude {for the patience to stick with this homemade thing in the face of sometimes laughable results},

Joan-Marie, who idolized Bonnie Bea for a million reasons as a young girl including her lyrical and memorable name