Oh Thank Cuteness: Jake

by jake on November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s something about the utter simplicity of gratitude coupled with a shared gorge-fest that makes me forget about myself and remember instead all of the people who make my life whole. And, it’s the time when I especially remember never to take my gifts for granted.

My biggest gift, the one I’d dreamed of for years, and many times thought I’d never receive, was the gift of motherhood.

Samantha came to my husband and me after we were married for more than 13 years. Before her, I’d lost nine babies through tubal pregnancies and miscarriages. Samantha is what we very affectionately call a lab rat. She is an IVF baby, my third attempt, and she was a surviving twin as well.

During all of those long years of trying to get pregnant and then trying to stay pregnant, it was quilting that became my safe place. I could be in the most excruciating emotional trauma, ready to give up on everything because the pain of wanting and losing over and over seemed many times beyond my strength. But at my sewing machine, working on a quilt, I could forget my anguish and my husband’s worry and instead focus on my project. Just me and the quilt. It was that simple.

When I was far enough along with Sam to start envisioning my life after her arrival, it was quilting that became the next focus after mothering. I was going to be with her, working part time from home, and that would leave me more time for sewing. I joined my local guild when I was six months pregnant, got a better sewing machine and started improving some of my skills.

Sam came and the quilt I made for her while she grew in my tummy covered her. She started crawling through my fat quarters. One day she pulled all of my quilt books off of the shelf in my sew

ing room. As she grew, trips to my local quilt shop required a small bribe for her patience—the purchase of ½ yard of any fabric she chose, just for her stash. (The kid has a healthy stash, let me tell you!) I sewed other things for her as well—clothing, doll things—but quilts were still the primary item coming out of my sewing machine. Sam learned to use my sewing machine by first becoming the operator of my foot pedal.

When I sold my first book, Sam’s picture graced the cover, incorporated as it was into the quilted book cover I made. For my second book, her hands rendered in fabric held the flower bouquet depicted on the cover quilt. This child has grown up with sewing machine oil running through her veins and at the age of 10, she’s comfortable and competent on her own machine, a Janome Gem that I handed down to her. And she’s damn cute in her confidence, I just have to say.
As a writer of real life, there is no separation in my world between my family time and my quilting time. I work at home and I do what I love doing around the people I most love being with. Some days and weeks are heavier with my quilting and other days and weeks are freely given over to the demands of mothering and being a wife and friend. That’s my life and I’m not afraid to stand up for it, because I know that I’m not the only quilter/sewist out there on the ‘Net who juggles family with creativity and a career. Wasn’t that one of the promises that came with today’s technology, the freedom to pursue more opportunities with greater access and ease?

So for this Thanksgiving, as I show off pics of my incredibly cute child, and some of my cats, (because, hell, they are damned cute too!) I hope we all take a few moments to celebrate in our hearts our blessings. And thank God for the cute in our lives, even if it’s not on a quilt!

NOW, would you all like to keep us company this week for Oh Thank Cuteness? We’d LOVE to have you post to your blogs, or even Facebook is you are blog-less, about what makes your world cute. Puppies, children (your own or someone else’s), the squirrel in your backyard, it’s all up for grabs! Here we’re building our link list of friends posting their own version of Oh Thank Cuteness. If you haven’t had enough of the  joy here, check out what they are doing. After all, we are all so much more than just our quilts! And if you do participate, grab our button and add your blog address below so we can all share in each other’s cuteness!



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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Identicon Icon Sarah November 21, 2011 at 3:21 am

What a beautiful post!

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Jean F Identicon Icon Jean F November 21, 2011 at 5:33 am

Children are such a blessing! What a great tribute… I need to a cue from this….
You are so blessed…. Lots of hugs!

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Debbie-Esch House Quilts Identicon Icon Debbie-Esch House Quilts November 21, 2011 at 5:59 am

You are one strong woman! Your daughter is just darling. Have the happiest of Thanksgivings!

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Mishka Identicon Icon Mishka November 21, 2011 at 7:21 am

What a wonderful story Jake. Thanks for sharing. Your daughter is very special.

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Heather Identicon Icon Heather November 21, 2011 at 7:35 am

What a lovely post, Jake. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Sally Bell Identicon Icon Sally Bell November 21, 2011 at 8:02 am

Jake,
What a beautiful little girl. You are so blessed to have her. She’s precious. Happy Thanksgiving.
Sally Bell

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Marcy Identicon Icon Marcy November 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

Amen and God bless you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Love and hugs.

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MiChal Identicon Icon MiChal November 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

Wow. Thanks for sharing!

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quiltzyx/sue Identicon Icon quiltzyx/sue November 21, 2011 at 9:50 am

What a story of faith & perserverance! Thanks Jake, for sharing it with us all. Having been lucky enough to meet Samantha a few times, I can say she is ALL that & MORE!
I’m taking my laptop with me tomorrow as I head off on my vacation to stay with my sisters, so I’ll post my OTC from the road.
Great, fun pictures too – love the pile-o-cats! But, hey! Where’s a quilt??

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Krista - Poppyprint Identicon Icon Krista - Poppyprint November 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

Shouldn’t we be allowed to claim the cost of fabric in our extended health care? I mean, obviously there are thousands of us who use quilting as therapy! Thank you for sharing your story of Sam – she is definitely cute.

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Sam Hunter Identicon Icon Sam Hunter November 23, 2011 at 10:30 am
Giddy Identicon Icon Giddy November 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

awww you made me cry! AND stop and be thankful…. I’ve been so frustrated and pissed off all week, counted bail money at least ten times to make sure I would have enough. I unfortunately don’t have a blog full of cuteness as I have three boys :D I have mud, stitches, paintball, condoms, testosterone, and all the joys of being mom to three almost grown teenagers who I can’t imagine life without! I’m so thankful for those boys. 2 years ago they took care of everything I needed when I broke my neck and had to learn to walk again. They may not be cute but by God they’re handsome lil angels when they have to be! I’m also thankful for my brother and sister in law with their three demons who make my world a better place. My brother is in Iraq due to be home before Christmas! I’m so very thankful for that crew! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1792258611215&set=a.1353068431735.2046139.1382146332&type=3&theater that’s about as cute as those two get! lol… I can’t get all three of them in one shot anymore they end up in a gangpile!

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melissa Identicon Icon melissa November 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm

NOW who’s making who cry?? Loved hearing about and seeing your boys! Good on them for stepping up and taking care of you. But don’t think boys have a corner on the blood and stitches. Delia once fell on her chin while riding her bike (but she did have a helmet on). Took 25 stitches in three layers to close the gap. (Obviously the surgeon was on his game that day!) A week later, Catherine did the same thing, but it only took 5 stitches. Sigh. Just kidding…if life had been perfect, we would not have had any stories to tell!

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Kim Identicon Icon Kim November 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Liz B Identicon Icon Liz B November 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Im sorry I wasnt able to partisapate like I had planned. Just as my blog post was coming together, life happened. I wanted to write about my son Dan aka Beloved Monkey Boy and my dog Abbingdon Virginia, Queen of all she observes. I still have plans on finishing the article as soon as I can.

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