When I was little, probably about seven years old, I had a Valentine’s Day dress. It was bright red with little white flowers, little white lace trim, and a big flat collar. It was meant to be worn with a crinoline underneath for a knee length, puffy skirt. I tried to wear it every Valentine’s Day.
Looking back, I probably looked a little dorky. But I loved that dress with its puffy skirt and shirt puffy sleeves.
My grandmother made it for me.
My dad’s mom, Norma, was probably one of the first crafty people I knew. Her handmade quilts were all over the house from the time I was born. She did them all by hand, every single stitch. Colorful, classic patchwork designs. I remember when she was trying to master a new “peacock” pattern to make a quilt for my parent’s bed. They were warm, wonderful pieces of art and I always loved having them.
Then there were the dresses. I had a cousin only a little older than myself, and one year Grandma Norma decided to make us matching dresses. Over the next couple of years, there are three dresses that I remember. One was white with blue flowers. The next one was yellow with a little white print. And then the Valentine’s Day dress. Red, with white hearts.
Grandma Norma kept right on crafting until the very end of her life. I have on my bed what was one of her very last projects. She gave it to me when I was in my twenties, knowing that she probably was not going to be around to see me get married. It’s my “wedding quilt.” It stayed carefully protected on the top shelf of my closet for several years. The night Mark and I got married, I took it out. She passed away before our wedding, but it means so much to me to have that quilt. I can see her love and care in every little hand sewn stitch.
With Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I wonder whatever happened to that red dress.