The dilemna of a quilt with a history or how to say I love you through all of life's ups and downs

This is a quilt with a history and not all of it is happy, just like life, right?  I started making it in summer of 2018 as a wedding gift for my German AFS foreign exchange son, Atilla and his bride.  They were married in 2016 and my husband and I were so lucky to be with them in Germany on their special day.  As is usually my habit, the wedding quilt gets finished long after the wedding occurs and once the married life is well underway.  My batting average was very high until this quilt.  Before it was finished, the couple was unfortunately divorced.  Broken hearts on two continents.

So this summer I decided to finish the quilt anyway, not sure what I would do with it.  The top was the only completed part.  Since it was red and green, I named it "Not Necessarily A Christmas Quilt," signed and dated it, put the location on it but did not put a dedication on it as I had no idea if it would stay with me or find its home elsewhere. 

In May, we began planning a visit from our son Atilla to come visit us in the States.  Since he works in many Middle Eastern countries for the German government, on the first round he was refused a visa to enter the US.  Some of those countries were on the "no entry" list.  This was further compounded by the fact that he is Muslim.  Thank you US Government.

On September 27, he interviewed with the US Embassy in Germany and was granted a 10 year visa.  Hooray!  By this time, the quilt was pinned and basted but not quilted. 

If you remember, in 2013 I did a project called "2013 - The Year of the Christmas Quilt" (see previous blogs for details) and when I had given away all the quilts to my family members, my niece Angie made me promise I would also make quilts for any not yet born members of the family so I have been making Christmas quilts for new babies as they arrive.  The thought occurred to me that I could possibly give this Christmas looking quilt to Ati as part of the ongoing project as  he is definitely a member of the family.  Was this tacky though? and how to approach it and be totally above board on its origin?

Well, Ati arrived December 20th.  We are having a great visit.  On the first night he is here, he apologizes for all the work I did on a wedding quilt for him for his marriage that did not last.  I thought, "ok, here is my opening."  I told him about the quilt, how it was made, that it was done now, and that if he wanted it, he could have it.  If it was too painful, I offered him a quilt left over from the 2013 Project called "You can keep your hat on" (see previous blog) that I had kept.  So far, he has not wanted to see "Not Necessarily" and he is thinking about things.  He is a very serious, thoughtful man. 

My daughter Becky and her family will arrive from Texas Christmas Day.  She is also a quilter.  She will want to see the quilt.  We will see how this works out.  I can show it to her privately.  I do not want to cause him any pain.  Do you all have any suggestions here?  Did I overstep?

At any rate, I love him.  I want him to be happy and if he wants it, I want him to have a Christmas quilt.  It's how I express my love for the people important to me.  He suggested we wait until there is a happier occasion for the quilt.  I told him I love him is the occasion.  Deep sigh.  Life can be so hard sometimes.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Tell the people in your life how you feel about them and have a happy quilting New Year!


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Comment by Virginia "Ginnie" Leiner on January 11, 2020 at 7:57pm

It is now January 11th.  Christmas 2019 is in the bag and Atilla has returned home to Germany and then on to Amman, Jordan. He decided to accept "Not Necessarily a Christmas Quilt" but had no way to take it home with him so it will stay with us until the next time he visits.  A good outcome!

Comment by Wilma Schirra-Kays on December 24, 2019 at 8:43pm

Beautiful quilt.  Great story.  

Comment by Ginny Andersen on December 24, 2019 at 3:37pm

Beautiful, Ginnie! I think it was completely okay to offer it to him. He is still a part of your life and I am sure your thoughts were of him while making it. The other half just won't be a part of it now. 

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