Saturday, August 21, 2010


one week ago today my youngest child left home for university. i thought i was prepared. but oh dear was i wrong.

it took us both by surprise, her and i, but not really, we knew this time was coming. as she drove off, heading for the airport and her new life, bye momma! i felt so many emotions i couldn't put a name to them all. and i couldn't walk back into the house, empty as it was of her now. i couldn't think of what to do other than cry. and i didn't have to think to do that. so i stood in the driveway and cried. my. heart. out. as i was standing there i saw the bags of clothes she had put in my truck, could i please drop them at the charity shop, she asked? she couldn't bring everything with her.
and then, i had an idea! i raced into the house and told Chuck what i would do, and he breathed a sigh of relief.

i couldn't bear to give away her clothes, so i cut them up and made my first quilt

for hannah

i cut and cut and sewed and sewed, and listened to this on repeat. had to stop crying here and there so i would stop poking myself with the gd needle

ta da! here is her prom dress, and there is her lifeguard tee-shirt, one of her urban blouses, some jammys and the sides and back are her penguin flannel sheets

quilters, please forgive me, i am sure i broke every rule in the quilting guidebook (where do i get one of those?), there wasn't time to learn the right way

some of the squares have pockets, i am going to tuck little notes and money in those for an added surprise

one of the tee-shirts was made into another pillow - hay y'all! with another cashmere back (i scored on a few sweaters at the thrift shop)

my fingers are sore, but now i feel better, this quilt helped me survive her first week away, i worked on it morning, noon and night, obsessively i'd say

one last thing, i made her this banner too, out of discarded remnants (design store samples, sometimes they throw them out!)

for my girl

hannah :)

on wednesday i'll be here and for sure there will be more crying but lots and lots of laughing too, mostly laughing now.

♥ lori

p.s. hannah, i hope you haven't decided to begin reading my blog , but j.i.c., surprise! i hope you like it, love, momma (see you soon!)


  1. Poor Lori. :( The quilt was a terrific idea though, and it is beautiful! I bet Hannah will love it to bits, and the cushion and banner too.!

    I can only imagine going to The Roosevelt, but one day we are coming over there, and sooooo...... you will have to let us know how it was.

    Have a fabby time! I am going to check out Chuck's website now. Kisses.xx♥

  2. I am back! Tell Chuck his site is awesome. I am thrilled for him. :)

    wv = dearcal
    Dear California. :D

  3. oh my. made me all teary too....what a BEAUTIFUL thing to do, lori darlin'! you are quite somethin' in case no one ever told you....much love angel lady. xx j oh and ps i couldn't listen to the song because its blocked in this country

  4. now I'M tearing up! this is a beautiful story and such a great way to recycle clothes and to ease the heart. my grandmother made quilts from the scraps leftover from the dresses our mother made, and even now at the advanced age of 50 when i spend the night at my parents' house my mother and i always sit on the bed before sleeping and say, "that was the prom dress, the dress i sat up all night making..." best wishes and remember that everybody will be home for Christmas ♥mcm

  5. Poor you......
    My how awful you must have felt! And yes! What a great therapy to make this quilt instead of bringing her clothes away!
    And you are so good at it!!! The result and the banner are stunning.

    Big hug from me dear

  6. That has to be one of best ideas I've seen for a long time. I can imagine the sadness you felt, I'm probably going to have to say goodbye to Amy at some stage as she might be going to boarding school. But it is only temporary. And we have to remember that our home is always theirs.

    CJ xx

  7. I'm stunned and amazed! your first quilt is gorgeous and is everything that a quilt should be - rules or no rules. It's made with love and that's what a quilt should be made of.

    I sure wish I could drive to NYC and meet you!!! Have a wonderful time

  8. I'm in awe of you and the capacity of your heart♥

    I can't imagine how hard the goodbye must have been, but it's really "so-long for a while", right? Off to the big city to further her education. What a gift to her!
    Speaking of gifts, the quilt make me cry!! And the little pockets that will be filled with loving surprises. And that banner and pillow!! Wow Lori. This is how people should channel their grief.

    Have fun in NYC! I hope the weather cooperates. The hotel looks fantastic.

    Best wishes Hannah!! Show that big city what you have :)


  9. This brought tears to my eyes because I have done this too...saying goodbye and standing there wonderful that you took those things of hers and made something so sweet and beautiful for her along with the creative and thoughtful...enjoy your time away with her. Bless your big beautiful mother heart. XX

  10. Lori, making that quilt from Hannah's clothes was such an inspirational and loving thing to do. Brava to you! I am a non-quilter - but it looks beautiful to me...and as Mim says, it's made with love and that's all that matters! I'm sure Hannah will cry when she sees it....but everytime she looks at it, during dark Winter days in NYC, she will think of her wonderful Mum, her wonderful Family....

    A great hotel...and so close to all the great stores in NY! You are going to have fun....Central Park is there...lots of cool places to walk....and don't forget to make it over to the Upper West Side.....many great things to see and experience! And....there will be warmth and sun (and, unfortunately, humidity..)..

    Safe flight!


    ♥ Robin ♥

  11. Hi Lori,
    Omg...I can relate. My daughter, Alex, had her first year in college last year and I think I cried for a month before she left and a month She's my only child so I became an empty nester.
    Your quilt is really stunning! I'm so impressed!!
    Take care of yourself!!

  12. Well said, well done. We said goodbye to our youngest in 2005. Boy, it hurts. Is Hannah in NYC? That's where our daughter is.

  13. Lori, My God, this is your FIRST quilt?! It is wonderful as is the pillow and banner. What a wonderful way to help yourself heal. Big hugs. xoxo

  14. What a lovely quilt. I'm sure Hannah will love it - I know I would :-)

  15. Thank you so much everyone for all your lovely comments on my previous post, i truly appreciate them all. Cat, you had a great idea, but unfortunatly the sign is now living in NYC with my girl. :)


    thanks so much for all the love, Chuck's website needs some work, but we appreciate all your kind words! I hope you do get over here soon, to both coasts!


    thank you ♥ i could burn you a cd, let me know. in the song they sing about brooklyn(where hannah is now) and love.


    thank you for taking the time to comment and telling me your beautiful memories, i only wish i had thought of this sooner with my first child. But still, it's giving me ideas for the future!


    thats exactly what it was, therapy, but i didn't realize it at the time. when i finished it yesterday, i then noticed how quickly the week had gone. thank you so much for your sweet words.


    it's true what you say, and i always tell my kids that. It's still so hard to have had a houseful for 30 years (can't believe i've been a mother for over 30 years now)and now our house is empty. It's going to take some getting used to.


    Thanks so much! you are a master quilter, can you tell me what are some good books for beginners? i think i made this on adrenelin and osmosis, i was so upset i didn't think about what i was doing and i've looked at enough quilts to have had an idea of their construction. I wish you could come too! my sister said the hotel has a rooftop bar with amazing views!

  16. Lolo,
    *hug* thank you so much for the wishes for Hannah, i love that. She's going to be fine (must tell myself that 100 times a day)and learn and grow so much! I think this is the hardest thing i've ever done, but i didn't want it to be about sorrow. i think i may be a quilter for life now.
    soon i'll be in your time zone!!


    i know you have gone through this very same thing. it never gets any easier does it? as each one of mine left home, i know a part of me left too. ah dear. thank you for such kind words my friend.


    thank you so much! i hope that whatever is lacking in skill is made up for with love. i like the thought of it keeping my girl warm too, thank you for giving me that picture.
    I am so happy to get to go see her, and the city too,i haven't been there since i was a teenager.
    She's already told me to make a list, she said it's big here!


    yes, that sounds about right, a month before and a month after. I am an empty nester now too :(
    it's never easy, wheather you have one or five, they each count the same. i'm glad i stopped at five though, my heart can't take this anymore :)
    thank you for the sweetest words.


    thank you so much. Yes, Hannah is in Manhattan. A long way from home in every sense of the word. This is a big (understatement) adjustment for her. I'm sure for your daughter too. I wish them both great sucess!


    it really did, i think this quilt has a heartbeat, so much of me went into it. thank you so much for such kind words!


    thank you for your kind words, i can't wait to deliver it to her on wednesday!

  17. you are amazing, lori. this quilt is unbelievable. and the pockets and secret treasures, just amazing.

    it is not fair you will be so close, and not this time. but we know there will be other times. isn't it great that we know that?

    i am a broken record: lori, if you can, take yourself and hannah to broadway to see jersey boys. i beg you. the music is seat popping wonderful. i will bet you $ 100 you will both LOVE it.

    i love you, lori. and as you know, i am over the top so glad about that!

    one more time: i love the are amazing.

    tsup x 100

  18. Lori,

    I started a quilt two years ago - using all of my daughters baby clothes. never got around to finishing it. I am getting inspired now. Alos, about kids leaving for college - that is about 5-6 years away for me - but I am already sad :(

  19. Lori, what a creative, heartfelt way to channel your emotions. hannah is one lucky young lady! You are a constant sourve of inspiration to me and your love pours out of every thing you create and every word you write. Hugs to you ... and I will be in your shoes in a few weeks.

  20. What a lovely gift you put together for Hannah. She'll treasure it forever!

  21. Oh Lori! That is so sweet... I love that. Such a beautiful idea. If Hannah sees it hear first, she will love it. I totally love the whole idea.

  22. Oh Lori, what a beautiful tribute to Hannah! I cry even imagining that time for my H & I...and am just trying to soak up every moment, even the difficult ones. Hugs to you!

  23. Lori, I got tears on my face as I read this post... but there´s beauty on your words, so true and so intense.
    Your quilt became a beautiful memorable work of art ( I use to put on the back a piece of fabric with my name and the date on it and sometimes a dedication)and I love the combination you made with all the fabrics.

    I wish you meet Hannah very soon! Have a wonderful week, dear Lori!

  24. Well, I don't care if you broke any quilting rules!! I think you are a SUPER duper mom. Oh my gosh. If I were your daughter I would be ultimately touched at such a great gesture. Seriously.


  25. Hi Lori, It's not too late to sign up for the sketchbook project. If you follow the link on the website you can order your book. You're welcome to join the blog and follow. Once you get your book, you can start posting. :)

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    And thank you very much for your sweet compliments on my sketching. Hugs to you!

  26. kj,
    thank you so much, now you know why i wasn't blogging much this week!
    i'm sure we won't be able to see the show this trip, but i would absolutely love to see The Jersey Boys or even the Lion King, but daughter and expenses come first. One of these days we'll go, to a show and further north!


    i hope you finish yours, baby clothes would be so cute. That's what i mean about thinking we're prepared, i thought about this for years too, with each of my children. But we never really are. At least i wasn't.


    thank you so much. *hugging* you, i don't know any easy way around this, you just have to go through it i think. The last one is very very hard. Lots of love to you.


    thank you, i think she'll use it and need it!


    Thanks Sammi! i almost didn't post it until i got back from New York, but then i thought even if she see it, it's okay. I sure hope she loves it!


    it's all we can do, enjoy every moment, the good and not so. Love this time with your babies!


    thank you! that's what i have left to do, embroider a to/from patch and sew it to the back, and i still need to write those little letters for the pockets. It's been a life saver for me, this quilt. i know i'll make more now.
    I'll see Hannah in only a few more days!


  27. Sophia,
    thank you for everything, your sweet words and your help, you are a doll. My daughters always loved everything i've made her, so i'm pretty sure she'll love this too. And she's going to need it for those cold New York winters!
    I'm off to the sketchbook website, thanks again so much!

  28. beautiful beautiful - the sadness, joy, love and memories sewn into this wonderful quilt and banner. sorry for your figers :-) what a fab idea for the tee shirt cushion too! your creativity is inspirational x

    ps loving my mittens xxx

  29. Lori this is such a beautiful post! The quilt is amazing! What a lovely idea! And how wonderful that it helped you through such an emotional time. I am sure much love was poured into this project! :)

  30. oh lori i checked in, read the first few lines, and had to stop. i will cry for sure. i know you are going through this tough time with your girl leaving home.

    i will come back to read a little later, just know it will hit a tender spot with me about to take my son to college as well.

    love to you dear one and thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. will be back to actually read what i know is an amazing and hugs xoxo

  31. What a great idea. My daughter is in her second year of college. I will have to seriously consider making one of these for her graduation, or at least get someone who knows how to quilt to make her one. I'm thinking one I might make may be a little bit lopsided!

  32. Val,
    thanks ☺ my fingers are better now too, and anyway a good distraction! So happy your hands are warmer now!


    Thank you! It was made out of love and that only! i really don't have quilting skills, but i'm going to try again now...much slower though :)


    *hugs* to you. Oh my gosh this is hard isn't it? I feel like it's the first day of kindergarten all over again, only much more... i hope you come back, this post does have a happy ending :)


    you can do it! it's really not hard, and it sounds like your not in a hurry. Thank you for coming by and leaving such kind words!

  33. Lori, I love the quilt, pillow and banners...that is so meaningful...and such a beautiful way to turn tears into something everlasting!
    Have a wonderful trip and visit with your daughter. Maybe on one of your trips to visit her you may have more time to take a side trip to Maine!
    Wishing you all the best on this new phase of your family.

  34. I could totally relate to this post, and yes, yes, yes, making a quilt with all the clothes Hannah wore is just the best idea ever, and the perfect thing to do for a heartsore Mum.The quilt is beautiful and Hannah will be delighted. Hope you have a fab time in New York !! I wish I could come along.

  35. Its hard to swallow after reading your post today.This type of hole never gets filled and as mommies,I think we all knew that the very first day..doesnt make it easier thats for sure.
    The other day a woman came in to work and she was telling me about this tree she purchased at the local nursery.She named the tree Lily..I must have given her a strange look because she continued on to tell me about her daughter "Lily" that momma just dropped off at college.Momma said she was so happy for Lily but that she was going to desperately going to miss her,miss talking to her,miss her as she grew..that she decided to buy a tree and she would talk to it and watch it grow.I really didnt know what to say,because by that point I was already starting to cry and so all I could do was offer her a gentle hug,a momma to momma hug,a its ok kind of hug.

    I really really love your quilt sweet Lori and I know that Hannah will love it to.

    Did you know I have a Hannah too and now I cant stop crying..Happy Momma tears..Happy Momma tears.

    **Momma to Momma Hug**

  36. oh lori this is just too much for me
    made my eyes blurry

  37. As usual, your creativity overcame a tough spot. What a great idea - I wish I had thought of that!

    Have fun in NYC!

  38. Thanks Val,
    I have the address to the gallery, it's very close to our hotel, i can't wait to


    thank you so much. I appreciate your words so much. I wish i had time to go up the beautiful new england coast too. Yes, maybe next time!


    thank you, and i wish you could too, there are some fabulous fabric and wool shops there, i plan to go! when i get back i would like to ask you some questions re quilting. xxx


    *hugs* + love. thank you for sharing such a lovely story with me, i love that idea too. I did know you had a Hannah (so beautiful name)i don't know why i kept forgetting to tell you. You don't know what it means to me to be so understood. Thank you.


    Sorry Janet,
    thinking of you keeps a big smile in me. take good care out there.


    Nancy, i know what you mean, i wish i had thought of it with my first. I'm very much looking forward to NYC!

  39. oh lori...that must have been so hard for you. my heart was broke over a little doggy...i just can't imagine a child...

    the quilt was such a great idea..and you did such a wonderful job on the banner too...

    i am so happy to visit with you today..i have missed you

    i'm glad you are feeling better
    hugs to little owen too...

    sending love,
    kary and teddy

  40. Hi Lori! Of course I have to now go back and catch up, but I do love the beautiful quilt - what a great idea!!

    Hope you are having a fantastic time away, and look forward to hearing all about it on the blog!! x

  41. oh poor Lori, that was such a wrench - but I'm so glad you did something so wonderfully creative and positive with your heartache. The quilt is beautiful, as are the banners and cushions! You're one talented and creative lady!
    Enjoy New York! xxx

  42. Aww Lori beautiful quilt.
    I know that no matter where you are in the world you're so full of love that your family will always feel it.

  43. the most beautiful quilt in the world, made with love from a wonderful Mother for a much loved daughter :)

    you are very inspiring, beautiful Lori...


  44. Lori, this is one of the most beautiful posts ever! I read it hours ago and cried, got interrupted and I am back and the tears have welled up again. I know that empty, bittersweet, feeling. How you channeled it is completely inspiring. Thank you for your beautiful quilt and story. Good luck to Hannah and to you...but you are both already lucky! ♥

  45. Oh Lori - that quilt is gorgeous. Such a treat and a beautiful collection of memories.
    Can't wait to see your NYC posts... shame we couldn't have been there at the same time, I will be staying just 2 blocks away, right near lexington... your hotel looks stunning - I am quite jealous!
    Have fun!

  46. You are sooo talented!! Look at what you've done with discarded clothes?! I mean, really!! I'm so impressed. The quilt looks great and it holds so many memories. What a great idea tucking little surprises in the pockets!

    I hope you had a wonderful time in NY. Hanna–and her siblings–are very lucky people. Chin up, OK?

    I love you,
    Lola xx

  47. lori, i am crying as i write this. the image of you standing in the driveway.......oh boy. this hurts, this having to send kids off in life thing.

    but these works of art you created, and they are works of art. just magnificent. i am in awe. you made those in just one week??? amazing. like you.

    enjoy new york with your sweet hannah-- and it's so funny - at this hotel you're not too far away from where my girl lives!!!

    love and hugs,
    amanda xoxo

    p.s. LOVED that video - never heard the group, or song before, but i am hooked......brooklyn brooklyn take me in

  48. Lori this is fabulous! I have several bags of discarded clothes that the girls outgrown. My "intention" is to make three tree skirts. One for Emily, one for Annie, and one for me. The girls wore each others stuff so much (hand me downs). I LOVE the banner ideal as well! I think I will borrow that. I just got motivated to get this project started... I am the Queen of good intentions! It just doesnt always get done :) Love to you.
    ps... such an adorable picture of Hannah & her doll!

  49. Hello Lori, that was a wonderful idea. So you cold do something special for your relief and I am sure your daughter will love this quilt, too. What a wonderful memory for her. I wish you and your daughter a good time in New York. Greetings, Inge

  50. oh man, i dread the day! I can barely stand dropping mine off at 1st and 3rd grade! The quilt was genius. Therapy for you and a treasure for her. You are an amazing mommy. Sending big hugs!!

  51. Lori, there really are no words adequate to share what I'm feeling right now. You have to be one of the most creative, loving, caring, sweet moms in the entire world!

  52. I feel your pain, honestly, but so admire your way of easing it in that first week. We moms can so relate to the love you poured into not only the quilt, but this post, too, by including that sweet, lovely picture of your Hannah, and the link to that hauntingly beautiful song, which I am downloading to enjoy, again and again. I look forward to hearing about your trip, and how she liked the quilt!


xoxo lori