Loss of a young child is devastating. When the grandparents of Alexie June learned of her accidental death, it changed their lives and left a big hole in their hearts. Alexie June’s grandmother Junette contacted me for a quilt, explaining that she just had a few items of her clothing and hoped it would be enough.
She and her husband drew a picture of what they wanted on the quilt, a beautiful rendition of Alexie June skipping along with balloons in her hand and butterflies floating around her.
They even selected her outfit, including little socks they wanted her to wear.
She had been such a happy child and they wanted the quilt to celebrate her love of life. They told me she was precocious and spirited and very independent for a little two-year-old. Having two older siblings probably helped her be that way.
After making the centerpiece of Alexie June in her little selected outfit (cut down considerably to fit the smaller image) I took my cue from the adorable clothes left and made imaginary scenes, using her clothes.
I imagined what sort of little girl Alexie June had been from the descriptions Junette gave me, such as her independent spirit, which unfortunately played a role in ending her life.
I also imagined her sitting on a cloud in the hereafter.
But I did overlook one activity which Junette had mentioned – how she loved to ‘play the piano’ with her papa. So after she received the quilt, Junette asked me to make a small wall hanging for William, showing Alexie June sitting with him at the piano. In the wall hanging, I used a part of Alexie June’s little sock to portray the piano keys.
After receiving their quilt, Junette wrote:
“William and I just received and opened the box containing Alexie’s Quilt. It is beautiful!!!! We love it so much. We both cried when we first saw it 😢. I love how you portrayed her and used the clothing in each block. And I especially love the center! Everything is perfect!!! Thank you so much.”