Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This is my last column for 2014 and I find myself in a reflective mood as I recount the many blessings I received over the course of the past twelve months.
One of the biggest joys of quilt restoration work is seeing the look of amazement on the faces of the customers when they first see their restored quilt: Gaping holes left behind by puppy chews, worn bindings and tattered pieces of scrappy fabrics now replaced with vintage period fabrics so even grandma wouldn’t know the difference.
A few weeks ago I started thinking what kind of gift could I make to pay forward all of the blessings that I have received-something in line with my desires to recycle and to make whole again through the restoration process.
Many years ago I used an image of a cow from a Heifer International (HI) Christmas card to make a “Holy Cow” angel quilt as a salute to the late Harry Carary. HI is the 70-year-old organization where people gift animals and technology to people living in a third world country so they can better their lives by improving their livelihoods.
This is the year after looking through their holiday catalog that I decided to help a family. It was a natural fit to purchase a sheep to produce wool to be woven into clothing and blankets to keep a family warm. Ewes often give birth to 2-3 lambs at a time so the family can give one of them to another family as part of HI’s “Passing the Gift” program. The others can be sold and the income can pay for medicine and other necessities. The sheep’s manure can enrich the soil to grow better crops.
After placing Lamb Chop in my basket I discovered something: an irrigation pump. It will alleviate children having to carry water from well to fields, cutting into their school time. A better way to water the fields combined with sheep manure to fertilize them-who could ask for a better Christmas present?
So this Christmas season when I wear a woolen holiday sweater it will remind me that somewhere in the world perhaps in Peru or China or Malawi, a family’s day to day struggles are now a little easier thanks to my gifts that keep on giving.
For information on Heifer International go to: www.heifer.org
Lois Levihn is the owner of Born Again Quilts restoration studio and quilt gallery located at 4005 South Wayne Ave. Visit the website at www.bornagainquilts.com.
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