A few years ago my husband received a Christmas gift from a relative. He opened the gift to find two hand stitched quilt blocks. But what made these two hand stitched quilt blocks ordinary was the letter that accompanied them. This letter explained that these quilt blocks were hand stitched by his grandmother, "Big Mama," while she was in a nursing home. She never got around to putting the blocks together and one of the nurses felt that the family would appreciate these one day. She gathered them up in hopes of one day putting them together to make the quilt.
As time went on and lives stayed busy, these quilt blocks just sat there. When the nurse stumbled upon them again she knew they could no longer be sewn together to make a quilt due to the age of the fabric and stitching. The only thing she could think to do with the blocks was to reach out to the family and give them all the blocks. And that is exactly what she did. That family member split up the quilt blocks and gave them to the children and grandchildren.
We put the letter and two quilt blocks into an end table that had a glass top to create a shadow box. I loved seeing them inside! I didn't know my husband's grandmother, but I've heard lots of stories about her so I feel like I know her to a certain extent. My own grandmother enjoys genealogy so I grew up knowing that family is important and part of that includes keeping artifacts and stories of your family alive. My grandma loves to write so she has written down many stories of her family, as well as of her own life over the years. I find it so fascinating to listen to her tell me these stories! She has collected hundreds of old photographs that have been put into binders to preserve them next to their pedigree chart (family tree).
Back to my original story... One day my I was watching our cat, Trixie, play with her toys and she walked over to the couch like she has down thousands of times before and began to scratch her nails. UGH!! I suddenly had a thought! Trixie needs a cat scratching post! And not one of the cheaply made store bought ones that she's already shredded. I'm talking about a solid scratching post she can really use. I looked on Google for ideas and found a few that I felt Trixie would enjoy. I drew a rough sketch of the cat post and went to Lowe's for the supplies.
As the supplies sat there waiting for me to get around to putting everything together, I heard it! I heard the SAW!! I quickly went outside and found my husband building the cat post...completely WRONG!! AHHHH! I know he was just trying to help, but I had a very specific idea and this was just not it...at all. I couldn't say much because he was so proud of himself so I asked a few questions about his plans and went back inside, but I was kinda sad to be honest.
When he finished he brought the cat post inside, but we couldn't attach it to the wall yet because we didn't have those supplies so he sat it in the corner of the living room. Fast forward to the next morning. I was in my bedroom putting up laundry and I heard a loud crash accompanied with the sound of glass breaking. I FROZE!! I hesitantly walked out of the bedroom to investigate and saw Sadie Lou sitting there with this look on her face, a look like she had no clue what she just did, but she did something. Any ideas what she accidentally did?
You guessed it! She accidentally knocked down the cat post and it fell onto the end table with the glass top which encased the quilt blocks and letter.
First things first, the broken glass had to be cleaned up for obvious safety reasons and then I could assess the damage. The end table was ruined so it had to go to the trash. The cat post was also damaged, but I decided to salvage it. Now I was able to put it together as I hoped so that part was a win! The quilt blocks were not damaged, but now I had a problem. Where would I put them to protect them?
I decided to put them into frames so they'd be behind glass to keep the fabric and stitching preserved. As I was framing the quilt blocks I wondered how I could also preserve the letter. I decided to put it in the frame, but behind the quilt block so it was hidden. As I was doing this I had an idea!
What if we included personal hand written letters with our priceless photographs that are hanging on our walls? How special would that be for my children to turn around their photograph to find a hidden message from me telling them how much I love them and just how special they are? I decided to put a letter behind the senior portrait of each of my children. I'd love for you to do the same!
If you're interested in doing this as well, fill out the form below and I will send you the templates I used when writing my letter.