The Story of Olivia’s Quilt

Olivia's Quilt
Olivia’s Quilt

Lisa had saved  her daughter’s clothes since she was born, not sure what she would do with them.  She  read Jon’s blog for years and knew about me and my work through his writing.   Lisa said she knew other people who could do it, but a “heavy feeling” told her to ask me.   So, a few months ago,  she emailed me asking if I would make a  quilt from her daughter’s clothes.   I probably would have done it anyway, but her story grabbed me.   The quilt isn’t just about Olivia,  it’s about her father, her grandmother and her Aunt Janet.

Matt, Lisa’s husband was adopted as a baby.  When he was 36 he decided to try and contact his birth mother.  He found out that she had died six years earlier, but he was welcomed and accepted by the rest of her family.  He reminded them so much of his mother, they were grateful that he found them.

Matt and his mother’s cousin and best friend Janet, had a special connection.  They became  like mother and son.   When Olivia was born 5 years later Janet treated her like a granddaughter.  Although they lived in different states,  and didn’t get to see each other as often as they would have liked, Janet sent her beautiful clothes, toys and books.  She wrote letters to Olivia, say “You are my sweet angel” and “You are another jewel in your Aunt Janet’s crown” and “My heart melts every time you smile” and “I’m sending you lots of hugs and kisses” signing them “Love you lots…Aunt Janet and Uncle Lee.”  It’s as if Matt got to know his mother through Janet and Olivia go to know her Grandmother.

Not long ago Janet had a stroke, and she can no longer take care of herself.   Now Lisa, Matt and Olivia visit her in the nursing home where she lives.  When they do, Olivia runs to her Aunt Janet’s bed and crawls in next to her. They lay side by side smiling, just happy to be together.

Lisa plans on giving the quilt to Olivia, a remembrance of her childhood and her Aunt Janet.

Detail of Olivia's Quilt
Detail of Olivia’s Quilt
Detail of Olivia's Quilt
Detail of Olivia’s Quilt

Aunt Janet




21 thoughts on “The Story of Olivia’s Quilt

  1. Maria, you did such a beautiful job, you can see you created this with your heart and you did this story justice. Incredible work, what an artist!!!

  2. What a sweat story, it made me cry. Good luck to Olivia and her loving family. Maria you are just wonderful and the quilt is beautiful.

  3. Thank you for sharing the lovely story of this charming quilt. What an honor to do this for all of them. It also must have felt like Spring had filled your studio while you worked on it !

  4. A lovely quilt for a touching and meaningful story about the importance of family. It will be treasured by Olivia all her life. Thanks for sharing this ~ it makes it even more special.

  5. What an incredible gift for Olivia, how could she not feel treasured every time she looks at it. The love for her is made visible through your magic, absolutely gorgeous.

  6. A beautiful and heartwarming story. Makes the quilt all the more special, and even better, created by your intuitive self, Maria. Good job.

  7. This is the most beautiful story I ever heard. Matt, Lisa, and Olivia are very precious to me. I knew the story about Matt, and how Lisa worked so diligently to make the connection with his family possible. The story is sad, yet it is joyful. Maria made a quilt reflecting all the love, all the joy, and all the happiness a little girl can give to someone so special — Aunt Janet! Thank you for sharing this incredible story, Lisa! Maria — there’s nothing more descriptive to say about a masterpiece created for a darling little girl.

  8. What a beautiful story. Lucky Olivia, who is surrounded by so much love, and will have your beautiful quilt to remember her special Aunt Janet. Wonderful art, Maria!

  9. Maria, As always, your talent shines through in this beautiful story. I can understand perfectly why Lisa had a ‘heavy’ feeling that you should do this quilt, I felt that way myself when I had you make the Harley-Davidson quilt out of my husband’s old tee-shirts. Your talent in creating these works of art is obvious, but what makes you so original is your ability to reach the heart, to showcase the love of families, and to tie your art to an individuals memories and dreams. In a world where families are so often torn apart and negativity seems to be the ‘norm’ you offer a rare and beautiful glimpse into the emotions, love, and pain that we all experience. Thank you so much, Maria….Your work touches us all!

    1. Oh Barb, that’s a new and really lovely take on these quilts. Your comment makes me think once again how much my work is about healing. Healing me for sure.

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