Our beautiful daughter turns eighteen years old today. Eighteen. Everyone says children seem to grow up so quickly, and it’s true. Our daughter went from sundresses and sandals to high heels and prom dresses faster than I ever could have imagined.
Around her fifth birthday, I came up with the idea to make a quilt for her eighteenth birthday. I’d never made a quilt before, but I thought I’d figure that part out when the time came. And for the past thirteen years, I’ve been saving our daughter’s favorite shirts as she outgrew them. Everything from T-shirts and sports jerseys to pajamas and sweatshirts all went into a bag in my closet.
This month, I opened the bag and began sorting through all of the shirts. (And reading a few “how to quilt” websites…) So many memories. A shirt from her junior bowling league. Many seasons of soccer jerseys. School plays. Vacations. Singing in choir. Girl Scouts. On and on.
Cutting into the first shirt wasn’t easy, but I told myself that instead of keeping all of these pieces of her life in a bag on a shelf, I’d be turning them into something she could enjoy and love every day.
There’s the t-shirt from her first week away from home at Girl Scout camp, and her first tae kwon do uniform…
… and the tour shirt from the time I left her backstage with our favorite band at age 13.
There’s the T-shirt she made at our public pool’s tie-dye party years ago, and the shirt from the University of Iowa’s journalism camp her sophomore year. Her Junior Girl Scout uniform shirt’s here, and so is a “Rock Star” tank top from Walt Disney World commemorating her first ride on a looping roller coaster. Her “I’m A Big Sister” shirt? A gift from the hospital when her first brother was born.
Here’s a piece of her favorite pink pajamas, circa age ten — and the “Angel” shirt she never seemed to take off when she was eight because she thought it described her perfectly.
Her favorite sweatshirt from her middle school days even made it into the quilt, zipper intact. A piece of her Bratz bedsheet from her grade school days peeks through when it’s unzipped. (And I love the idea of a secure pocket to hold the TV remote, phone, or iPod while she’s lounging in bed…)
This quilt tells a story. It’s unique — just like her.
And like all good stories in our family, it begins and ends with a KISS.