My Old Baby Tapestry Blanket
|"Fabric of the Nation" tapestry in 2004|
What can an "old baby of 65" blog to express about?
The home-made tapestry blanket personally sewn by my mother for me before my birth in 1948 was my favorite until it was burned in the Bukit Ho Swee fire. It wasn't like the "Fabric of the Nation" photo though.
I am a normal, ordinary baby who had gone through my mother's womb for 9 months pregnancy in an ordinary way. Nothing special. The same way to come into this world, and the same way I will have to go.
In preparation for my birth, my mother sewn a tapestry blanket made of extra pieces of cloth which my mother, my sisters, friends and neighbors collected.
These home-made tapestry blankets for babies in the kampong in the early days. The extra pieces of cloth for making dresses were then cut into squares or other shapes as tapestry blankets. The material of the cloth with different colors, designs and patterns. The size of the blankets were made them bigger as the baby grew.
The tapestry blankets were not sold in Robinson's or department stores with branded imported stuff in Singapore in those days. The blankets were sewn by mothers, grandmothers or other lady relatives as gifts to the babies and were homemade with handicraft skills and patient stitching as a "labor of love" for many months. Every babies need a blanket to keep warm and comfortable.
This is my fond nostalgic childhood memories of my old tapestry blanket. How I wish I could still have it as memories of my mother.
It doesn't matter for me to share a little secret about this blanket.
I did not allow my mother to wash the blanket even when stained with saliva or the smell of drops of milk when I drool ... same as my pillow case as a child. Was it only me as a baby behaving in this strange way?
Any Peanuts fans of the cartoon strip quotation "Happiness Is a Warm Blanket" by Charlie Brown will know what I mean.
"Fabric of the Nation"
In July 2003, the "Fabric of the Nation" community project invited Singaporeans to contribute a patch of love for the nation but we had an avalanche of 15,000 patchwork pieces finding their way to Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCDS) as well as Mediacorp.
These patches, painstakingly stitched together by Singaporeans - here and abroad as well as by foreigners in Singapore, now forms Singapore's first national tapestry. It is an epitome of a people united in adversity and diversity; and an embodiment of a cohesive nation.
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