The Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilt

Over the summer, I wrote about a special group of friends, The Darlings. This is a group of women that joined together as a birth board on Baby Center back in 2011, and we’ve stayed bonded as a group as our babies have grown into toddlers. This quilt was created using a onesie from each of our children, and the quilt is passed from woman to woman in times of need. These needs vary, but the quilt brings comfort to each recipient. Since my initial blog post, the quilt made it’s way to Savannah, then back to Atlanta, then north to Wisconsin, over to Indiana, and its now out west in Colorado. What is so special about the journey to Colorado is that two of our group members live there and you can see them photographed together at the end of this post. FYI, those fabulous ladies are both photographers. I feel the need to add that tidbit of information because when my husband saw those pictures he was in awe and said it looked like it was taken professionally, and in a way- it was.

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Advertisements

The December Darlings

I am so excited about this quilt. It is an adult size blanket, using baby onesies. 32 onesies to be exact, that came from 30 awesome women (plus myself). The story behind this quilt began over 2 years ago…

Social media plays a huge role in our lives. What you may not know is that sites like Baby Center and The Bump serve not only as online resources for new mothers, but as a community of women. There are groups for everything from pregnancy, to motherhood, those struggling to conceive, dealing with a loss, and everything in between.

I found out I was pregnant with my son, March 30, 2011. I was already a member of the Baby Center online community, so I searched for a due date group to join. I had no idea then the impact that decision would have on my life. The group was called “The December Darlings,” and was a private board for women due December 1-10, 2011. People shared every aspect of pregnancy- the good, the bad, and the ugly. We grieved together as some women suffered miscarriages, prayed together as some (myself included) received troubling news, and rejoiced as our babies were born.

As the year drew to a close, our group dwindled. What was once close to 200 women was now 73. Anyone who’s had a newborn knows that sitting down at the computer can be a challenge, so most of us accessed Internet through our phones (especially those up nursing a baby at 2 am). For convenience, we decided to move our group over to Facebook. Not everyone made the move, but for the ones who did, our bond grew stronger.

We’ve supported each other through the loss of parents, miscarriages, deployments, sick children, and spouses with cancer. We’ve celebrated as our babies reached milestones, new pregnancies and the birth of younger siblings, homecomings, and more. Somewhere along the line we started sending gifts, and that’s where the idea for the quilt came to be. How cool would it be to have a blanket made up with something from each of us… I was eager to take on this project, and after weeks of nagging, I got enough onesies to make the quilt.

I’ll spare you the details, and focus on the highlights. What started off as women with one thing in common (motherhood), and over the past 2 years we’ve become great friends. Our group consists of 36 women, spread out over 23 states. We range in age from 22-42. Some of us are first time moms, others have 7 children. Many of us have had the opportunity to meet one another; I’ve been fortunate enough to meet 3 of my fellow darlings (pictures below). As a group, our dream is for all 36 of us to meet with our babies. Anyone out there with the power and funds to make that happen- my contact info is available on the blog.

I think our story is powerful. Support comes in all forms. These women, most of whom I’ve never met, I consider my closest friends. I truly don’t know how I would have made it through the past 2 years without them. In an online arena, there is no shame in asking the kinds of questions new mothers have. In our group, sometimes we jokingly wonder how our ‘real world’ friends get answers to their personal questions.These women are my sounding board for everything, and I’m so so thankful for that decision I made, back in the spring of 2011, to join this group.

If you read through this, thank you! For those here for the quilt, this blanket consists of 32 onesies and 32 flannel squares, each measuring 7″. The teal border is 2.5″ and the snowflake border is 4″. The finished blanket measures 69″ square, and its backed with pale grey anti-pill fleece. We plan to “share” this blanket, sending it to those in need when they need it. I’m hoping nobody “needs” it soon because I’m not ready to part with it.

20130722-132735.jpg

20130722-132853.jpg

20130722-132910.jpg

20130722-132918.jpg

20130722-132957.jpg

20130722-133009.jpg

20130722-133208.jpg

20130722-133219.jpg

20130722-133232.jpg

20130722-133240.jpg

20130722-133746.jpg

20130722-133805.jpg

20130722-133846.jpg