- Pirates in the Bullpen
Something that brings me great pleasure is making quilts for people who I love or about something that I love. Recently, I have been making quilted portraits of various members of my beloved Red Sox.
Recent struggles of various members of the Red Sox inspired me to make a quilt in support of the ailing bullpen. Have you noticed the pirate theme in the bullpen? A pirate flag is hanging over the bench and the relievers march from the dugout across the field to the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Recently, I found a cute pirate skull and crossbones fabric that made me think of the bullpen. I designed the pirate skull center based on the printed fabric. What started as an idea for a Halloween quilt secretly inspired by my struggling team quickly became a show of support for my fumbling and humbled Sox.
Before the start of Thursday’s latest debacle against the Tampa Bay Rays, I stood over the bullpen and waited for my opportunity. Catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia emerged. After ignoring my first couple of shouts, I waved the quilt and shouted “Salty! I have something for you!” When he looked up, I tossed the quilt across the roof of the bullpen and said, “This is for the guys in the bullpen”. The quilt and Salty quickly disappeared under cover of the ‘pen roof. A few seconds later, he poked his head out, looked up at me and said, “Thank you!”. He then started his pre-game stretching routine. I had the feeling that he took a quick look at the quilt inside the safety of the bullpen and realized it was something especially made for them. I walked away satisfied that my gift was appreciated.
Installed in my uncomfortable grandstand seat, I watched as the endless pre-game ceremonies finally ended. The relievers began their dramatic march across the field and to the bullpen — always one of my favorite moments at Fenway. The HD videoboard follows their progress across the field and into the pen. As the camera picked up their entry and their greetings to the security cop and Gary Tuck, I saw it on the HD screen as clear as day. Draped over and on display on the right side of the bench, the pirate stared back at me. As I watched each member’s arrival, I was amazed to see they congregated to the right side of the bench. It looked to me like they all went to check out the newest member of the bullpen. My mission was accomplished.
Unfortunately, the bullpen that night went on to assist in another crushing defeat for the Sox. With thoughts of my quilt being treated like an unlucky charm and cut up into a million pieces, or being used to clean cleats, I remembered a lesson learned long ago. When you make a quilt from your heart, you must give it away without strings attached. It is a lesson every quilter must learn by toiling over a child’s quilt that quickly gets soiled and destroyed, or a wedding quilt that gets put into a chest never to see the light of day, or a work of art that is dismissed with a comment such as, “Thanks for the blanket”. The joy is in the love and care that gets stitched into the quilt. You cannot control how it is received or used. A gift without strings is just that. Made with love and given gladly from the heart.