Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal. ~Lenore Hershey
Like many others, we go through the same list of questions every year for Christmas, ‘What do we want to get Nicole?” and “What should we get dad?” Naturally, if we had unlimited resources, it wouldn’t be so difficult but let’s come back to reality, most people have budgets, at least I do. Every year, generally speaking, some great idea takes shape to give the perfect gift. Me, mom and Kyle were blessed with two great ideas.
Giving is great, I truly mean that! However, I don’t like to give because I have to, or it’s the thing to do. Nope, if I’m giving someone something, it’s because I mean it and I’m excited to surprise them with usually an unconventional gift. That’s my favorite, the perfect gifts or practical ones. I am very much a practical and simple type of gal. Yes, I love receiving socks (the Under Armor running socks or good wool hiking socks etc) and blenders and books and running shoes and so on and so forth. Now don’t get me wrong, I love frivolous too! Such as jewelery or collectables, but I’m also equally happy with practical presents.
Last year, we got mom framed pictures. Not just any pictures, but an old photo of all the cousins (close ones) and a recent shot of the same picture taken at the same location as the original, Twin Lakes Family In A Photo – Looking Back showing us all grown up. Boy was she surprised! Perfect!
Who got the perfect gift this year? There was a tie. Dad and Nicole owned it!
First, lets start with Nicole. What to get a gal who gets herself basically what she wants, when she wants it? That was easy, something she wants and forgot she had. This past summer while cleaning out mom and dad’s house, we came across Nicole’s old quilt. Nicole and I both had matching quilts of different color schemes, given to us for Christmas in 1976. They were nice twin sized quilts that kept us warm and cozy throughout our childhood and even into our twenties. Nicole however, LOVED her quilt and drug, literally drug it around with her EVERYWHERE! As a kid, she would drag it to the living-room to watch TV, through the kitchen, out on the porch and into the yard. She would eat with it, sleep with it, and I bet she even drug it into the shower a time or two. That quilt was like her giant “blanky”. She even took it to college with her! That is until it really fell apart. I mean about half of it was MIA. Over the years pieces of it would rip off, but she kept dragging it along.
What to do? Call upon my friend Holly who makes quilts on the side Quilts by Reese to aide me in this perfect Christmas gift idea of course. No, her thing is not to revitalize old torn up and extremely used quilts, but she agreed to help me out as a favor for a long time running friend.
Where to begin? No clue, I delivered the pile of scrap fabric, which is what it basically was once it was washed one last time. Holly took it from there. Since finding fabric to match, texture and color wise, proved to be problematic, I gave Holly my old quilt, which was almost in perfect condition (you could tell I didn’t have such an affinity for my quilt like Nicole did hers) to tear up and use as needed.
Eventually, about a third of the quilt was Nicole’s original and the rest was mine. It worked out perfectly since both quilts had the exact same fabric and patterns, just different color schemes. The backing needed to be completely replaced as well as the trim, but it turned out nicely! Better than expected actually! Holly did an amazing job on such a difficult mission! And she had it done well before Christmas!
With everything I do, it’s always an adventure. As the quilt was being torn apart and assembled again, Holly would give me updates on the “ugly” quilt. From what I gathered, it was a bit of a bugger with the thick seams and old seventy’s stretchy fabric. Personally, I loved the name, ugly quilt and so it stuck! Holly hated the quilt, that is until the end. She said, “It’s so ugly it’s starting to look cute and wear on me.” Yep that’s what happens when you put your heart and soul into something. The fondness grows. Now granted, Holly wasn’t so attached to it that she couldn’t give it back, but I could tell she sewed herself into the Piper quilt.
On a side note, one text message I received from Holly include a very close-up shot of the quilt fabric. The text message asked me if Nicole had a bird? Why yes she did! How did Holly know? Apparently, there was bird seed embedded in some of the fabric. Only my sister! That sounds about right. Not to mentioned all the food stains all over her fabric.
It’s funny when I look at the quilt, I don’t see an ugly old seventy’s patchwork quilt. Nope, I see our childhood! And I know Nicole feels the same way.
Now the most important questions. Was Nicole surprised? And did she like the quilt? Yes and yes. She had no idea, none, not an ounce with respect to her Christmas gift. Of course, it’s easy to keep things a secret from her when she lives two hundred miles away. Kyle couldn’t wait to give her the blanket, although I could tell he didn’t see the importance and feel the true excitement like me, mom and dad, (well maybe me and mom) but it was still fun.
Holly wanted to see tears in Nicole’s eyes and urine on the floor from the surprise and happiness. Well, neither happened and I’m personally more grateful for the later not occurring, but Nicole was presently surprised. (Avery peed on the floor and that counts!) I would love to show a picture of the original quilt, however I couldn’t find any pictures. Actually, that’s not entirely true, I did find one, but since then I misplaced it. I’ll look for the darn thing.
Now dad’s perfect gift. Mom came up with the idea and me, Nicole and Kyle were totally on board. Great idea! So what was this perfect gift? Easy it was …to be continued.