Two Sizes Too Small

I started this quilt in autumn, 2013, as a gift for my (not-so-little-anymore) brother and his family. My brother is just 51 weeks younger than me, and therefore, most of my childhood memories include him. I have found memories of watching holiday cartoon specials with him every year, making sure which night they would be on (because there was no VCR or DVR or cable channels showing 24 hours of holiday specials; if you missed it, you missed it. Period.) and How the Grinch Stole Christmas is one of my faves. (Maybe in part because of that fabulous scene of him whipping up his suit on a treadle sewing machine just like my grandma’s!) 😉


The quilt was done before Christmas 2013, but I didn’t finish binding it until January. I picked up a DVD of the movie, to gift with it, and I figured I’d just keep it and gift it to them Christmas 2014. But then, my husband suddenly died. So when my brother came over to our house two days later, so we could have a good cry together, I gave him this Christmas gift, and told him “I was going to save this until Christmas, but if I learned anything this week, it would be not to count on tomorrow.” One thing is certain, we are never guaranteed a tomorrow. Cherish the moments, cherish people, cherish your experiences.


About the quilt… I don’t usually buy printed panels, and I’ve never made a quilt from one before, but this was fun. I cut the panels apart, and of course, none of the designs are the same size as the next one, so I started making blocks by improvising sashing. A row or two of half-square triangles, a diagonal stripe to resemble a candy cane, stylized flying geese to look like trees:GrinchDetail5


GrinchDetail2As a kid, for some reason, I remember being really impressed by the narrator being able to “x-ray” the Grinch’s heart by holding that magic metal frame over his chest. And I loved the part when it grew so big the metal frame bursts apart! So naturally, my quilt had to include that part of the story. Appliqued in the top left corner is his “two-sizes too small” heart…

GrinchDetail7…and in the bottom left corner, his growing heart just about to burst the frame!


Love this quilt — I had so much fun making it, was thrilled to hear a few days later that my two nephews were sleeping with it on their bed even though Spring had just begun, and it’s a great reminder of the lesson the Grinch learned that Christmas, that Love, friends and family are really what matter.

Blessings of the New Year,



15 thoughts on “Two Sizes Too Small

  1. As you say, you just never know. I love to make things, but I’m a proponent of giving them when they’re made so I know they go where they are supposed to. Besides, that way it’s not lost in the hubbub of a single day of huge presents! I buy books for gifts, I make things because it soothes my heart! Hang in there, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!

  2. How amazing you are to want to write those blog posts retrospectively, Doris. I’m sure it’s been a horrendous year, but you’ve made it this far and kept creating. Well done! I still have days, weeks even,where I fall in a heap. Baby steps. Be kind to yourself xx

    • Thanks, Di, I think of you often, and others that I know experienced a similar loss recently. I know I will continue to have those days for a long time yet, but it gives me hope to finally have days of peace and moments of joy among the dark days.

  3. Thanks for coming back to us here in cyberspace – your quilt is AMAZING!! so fun and such a heart-warming message!!!! You are SO right, none of us know what tomorrow will bring…. may 2015 be a happier year for you, best, Dee M.

  4. My best friend lost her husband last year and the healing is slow. We go out for lunch every other Tuesday. We have become very close through this time. We sit and talk and talk and 2 hours later we find we have not run out of things to discuss. I am mostly her sounding board. She just needs to talk….no decisions made, just talking, I do not guide her, ( her kids do enough of that) she just explains how she is coping and feeling. There is nothing I can say to make her feel better. Thats OK. It takes time. I feel that this is a healing part of her journey. I hope you too have a support system that just listens. I have seen my friend slowly grow from not knowing what she was going to do yo making herself stronger for her grown children’s sake. God bless you through this very tough time.

  5. Beautiful quilt. And I am reminded that I need to do better about keeping in touch with my siblings. I am sure my lack of contact (because I am lazy) is something I will regret in the future.

  6. I am always happy to see another quilting blog turned therapy blog…makes me feel a bit more comfortable as I have done the same. Life as we know it can change in a second and it does. I used to think that all the blah blah happened to others, alas, it has happened to us as well. My dear man has ALS. I will think of you in your journey and wish you well and happy sewing.

  7. It’s nice to see you blogging again Doris! There is no expiration date for grief and I pray that each day you find peace. You are much loved my friend! Your Grinch Christmas quilt is wonderful and you made creative use of the panels. Such a sweet memory of childhood for your brother.

  8. Goodness, it’s hard to believe all that you’ve been through in the past year! I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine how hard it’s been. I hope you have been surrounded by love and comfort, and continue your strong faith and hope. Your sweety continues to live on in your heart and soul.

    I love seeing your fun Christmas quilt! So fun with all the panels and borders. I am looking forward to reading the rest of your 25 posts!

  9. You’re very eloquent, Doris. I can feel your deep hurt, but I admire you for persevering. Blogging is a lovely way to keep going and to share your beautiful work. I’m not a panel fan either, but you’ve done something really special with this one. I can imagine how much your brother liked it. So glad to know you’re still sewing, and making such pretty creations.

  10. You are a very generous person to share enough to make us stop, pray, and wish you peace in this coming year. Sharing your journey will be a challenge but worthwhile for you and us. No quilter is an island. Thank you, God speed your healing heart, not that it will ever not be broken, but that you will once again be able to see the beauty around you and it won’t hurt with each beat. All my love to you.

  11. Doris, I found your blog through Bootcamp which I am also currently participating in. I was so taken by your entry about the loss of your dear husband. It was as if you were writing from my own experience this past year. I couldn’t just turn away without stopping to say how touched I was that you shared your thoughts. It will be almost a year for me as well but I too have found comfort in living as creatively as I can because that is indeed my comfort zone. Hugs to you……

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