Lessons from a Quilt Square: Mississippi Bandanna


When I heard some friends of ours from Mississippi were pregnant, I got so excited 1) because they were going to have a baby and 2) because I knew exactly what fabric I’d use – some bandanna fabric gramma had let me take a few years ago. I’d used it for some headbands, and wasn’t sure if I had enough for a quilt but thought I’d try and would see what other fabric could go with it.

I found some black & white polka dot I’d used for a dress (which needs altering – there’s too much fabric in the skirt), and thought it would work well, but nothing else seemed to fit. I figured the polka dots “went” for a girl, but the bandanna and colors could go either way but were more “boy.”

I cut as many squares as I could from the red and the black, then we put the squares on the floor and arranged them. Hannah and I kept playing around with them and the moms were giving us advice about how they thought it’d look better. It was sometimes hard to follow others’ advice, but in the end it looked a lot better.

The baby was born early, so the quilt was “late,” but we got to deliver it in person, taking it to a nearby Emirate and meeting the baby and visiting with our friends. On the way home I was thinking about how my time in the Emirates is running out, and wanting to savor each moment. Getting married is somewhat bittersweet. I jotted down phrases here and there to remember the trip.

Red-gold dunes
With pockets of shadow

Buildings change
Juxtaposing West & Arab
Striped sidewalk and scattered edifices
Boats and water.
So near.

Sweet baby, dear friends
Bandanna is perfect
Heart yearning

Conversation speckled
with words of English
But mostly Arabic
Baby held gingerly

Lights on the water
But bittersweet,
Savoring moments
As time in this land
Runs out.


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