Monday, June 18, 2012

Anchors and White Roses

I started this blanket two spring seasons ago – 2010.  The process was begun in plenty of time to complete it by May 2011 for my mother and father’s fiftieth wedding anniversary.  My father's series of strokes derailed life in a very significant way for all of us, but mostly for my mother and father.  We have all had to adjust to a new normal.  This required a good deal of change both in our physical and mental lives, but as all good and strong families, we are persevering.   Before Dad's strokes, much of my creativity came at the end of the day, before reading and before sleep.   Unfortunately, sleep became difficult in the time following my father's strokes.  I would arrive home at the end of the day exhausted but mentally wound up.  I developed the habit of watching old television shows on Netflix while in bed.  It was a hard time and I did not sew, crochet, or knit much during this long period.  Teaching and grading was about all I was accomplishing and I may not have been doing that well.  I just sat propped up in bed and gaped at the screen.  It was enough.

 I had a difficult time shaking this routine and am still known to go to bed with the laptop as I used to go to sleep listening to KFRC as a teen.  I am pushing myself to read instead, like I used to, or at least knit or crochet.  It is a little better, but not much.  I worked on the blanket when my spirit could.  Mom and dad's anniversary came.  There were cupcakes with iced roses, but no blanket.  The original plan was a trip to Ireland for their fiftieth, or at least Yosemite where they spent their honeymoon, but the at home party was small with old friends, children, grandchildren and a great grand daughter.  I don't know if it was enough, but nothing is enough for these amazing people I am lucky to know as my parents.  

My parents met when they were very young.  My mother still lived at home, the oldest of ten, and my father was in the Navy working with the last of the great airships and eventually airplanes.  

They were married in the chapel at Moffett Field.  We visited the airfield regularly as children and young adults.  Dad would take us to airshows and give us a tour of the hangar.  The hangar is so large it is said that clouds can form inside producing rain falling to the hangar floor.  We all know a bit about fighters and bombers and airships and jets.

 There were so young and beautiful.

My mother made her own dress.  I love it.  Here she is waiting.  What do you suppose she is thinking?  Did she have any clue as to what was to come?  She carried a white Bible adorned with a white rose cross.  White roses are still her favorite and only fall second to daisies with me.

My mother's greatest gift to me has been the love for all things created by hand.  She is a master quilter.   The more I grow to know my mother the more amazing she is to me.  She is kind and patient beyond comprehension.  She is my friend.  Through their example, my parents taught me to fearlessly love my own children.  My father was a sailor in many senses of the word, but my mother married him anyway.  He and I were often mischief makers together and he taught me that family is first no matter what and no matter who it is we choose to be our family.  My mother is the strength in our lives and my father the laughter.


After two years of on and off again work, I presented my mother and father with their gift.  We went to dinner and we presented the box while waiting for dessert.  There was not much fanfare, but I think that's okay right now.  The blanket was difficult to photograph, but I think these pictures give you the idea.

The blanket is square and made up of forty nine crocheted squares to equal fifty squares - one square for each year of marriage.  I designed the squares.

There are anchors for my father.

And, white roses for my mother.

I designed a simple scalloped trim to mirror the petals on the roses.

I am pleased with the finished blanket and have been toying with the idea of reworking these squares into another surprise or two.


  1. Well, Kelly, thanks for making me cry right here in the middle of the afternoon.

    I know these photos don't do this gift justice, as it is beautiful, almost glowing in person, perhaps from the love and devotion it represents.

    You know I was first attracted to you because of your affection for and close relationship with your parents. I wanted that in my life, and you have given me that and more.

  2. Oh dear, one more reason to weep. Seems I do a lot of that these days. However these are tears of joy. I have such a wonderful daughter with her feet on the ground and her heart in the clouds. You are everything I could have wished for and so much more. I am blessed and I know many others feel the same. dad and I love you with all our hearts. I wish for you the same experiences. Thank you so very much for who you are. Mom

  3. You are a wonderful daughter, I know your parents will cherish this forever. How unique the anchors and white roses, simply lovely. Funny how things change and we all adapt to the changes and still function as the loving family we have always been.

  4. That is the best blog post I have read in eons! What a beautiful gift for two very special people. Your design was perfect. Sounds like you grew up in a lovely environment.

  5. This is such a wonderful post. Such a wonderful gift for your parents. Your afghan is just perfect for having the blocks for both your father and mother.

  6. What a wonderful, thoughtful gift, it's beautiful and the story behind itis wonderful. I envy you the beautiful relationship you have with your parents but not in a bad way. Your Mum has completed her job well and I'm sure that love will sustain you for many years to come.

    Peg x

  7. Kelly, the afghan is beautiful and the time and work you put in it shows. Your talent knows no bounds.

  8. Kelly, This was a most heartfelt and beautiful tribute. I so enjoyed reading about a couple so obviously in love 50 years later. What a beautiful heirloom you have made to mark the occasion. Wishing you well in New Normal. Elizabeth

  9. Softie - Thank you for your very sweet comment. I do appreciate that you take the time to come by and comment. ~Kelly

  10. What a gift you are! not only to your family but to your blogging community! How beautiful and thoughtful your blanket is! Blessing to you, you have a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing it with all of us!~ Doreen

  11. Kelly, what a beautiful, thoughtful gift! I know your parents must love it. It's a beautiful symbol of their marriage, love, and family. Wonderful inspiration to us as well. Thanks!

  12. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gift with the rest of us...your parents are absolutely blessed to have you. May GOD bless your parents today and always.


  13. Oh my goodness ~ What a beautiful love story and a wonderful gift to commemorate that love. Then to read the first comment, brought tears to my eyes. You are all blessed.

    FlowerLady Lorraine

  14. That blanket is exquisite, Kelly. What a wonderful loving tribute to your parents, both the gift and your words in this post.


  15. Proverbs 31:10-31

    King James Version (KJV)

    10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
    (JOHN DID)
    11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

    12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

    13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

    14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.

    15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

    16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

    17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

    18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

    19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

    20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

    21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

    22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

    23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

    24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

    25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

    26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

    27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

    28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

    29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

    30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

    31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

  16. What a lovely story. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your parents and the blanket is undeniably a wonderful, beautiful tribute.

  17. You are a treasure! Beautiful afghan! I wish your parents a happy 50th. They are a gift to you and today I have happy thoughts after reading your post. Thank you for sharing....Judith, Texas

  18. Beautiful blanket and touching story!

  19. Dear Kelly,
    I just found your lovely blog. I had tears in my eyes reading the post about your parents and relationship with them. Its so rare these days to read something like that. I am more likely closer to the age of your mother then I am to you but I love your blog and admire your talents so I will enjoy following it.
    May God continue to bless you and your beautiful parents.
    maggie in Maine

  20. love your blanket for your parents. I pass by Moffet Field almost daily, the hanger is almost completly stripped of its skin! This is an restoration project, keeping the hanger as a historical landmark. They almost tore it down but the citizens here objected. It truly is a landmark, loved your story.

    1. Patty - Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. I had not idea that the hangar was being restored and investigated the Mercury News for more information. Great photos coming out of this story. I will pass this all on to my father. Thank you. ~Kelly

  21. Beautiful blanket but I really love the pin cushions:-) I also like to make them and have some on my blog. I would love for you and your friends to join me at

  22. Hi Kellie,
    Your parent's story is very touching and your blanket is exquisite- I am sure that your mother treasures it very much.
    My parents are slightly older than yours- they were married in 1955. I have made them a few quilts over the last number of years. For their 50 th I made a wallhanging that has photographs of us all in it.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely story. It is hard when your parent gets ill- my father in law had a stroke just before his 60th birthday. He lived until he was 83 and did recover significantly from the stroke that he had. We feel blessed that we had almost 24 more years with him where he got to meet all of his grandchildren.
    Sending you warm thoughts and good wishes,
    Regards from Western Canada,

  23. So beautiful and a heart-felt tribute. There isn't anything more cherished than a hand-made gift.