Like most women who have never been married at the age of 41, I was not hopeful that I would find the love of my life. And then one day while contemplating cancelling my membership on E-Harmony, I sent a note to this guy who had a look in his eyes that struck me. He wasn’t my normal type, but why not take a chance and go for it. I am so glad I did!
Sal and I were together for two years when we got engaged in a very romantic proposal after a horrific homemade meal I made while struggling with a sinus infection. I was in my pajamas, hair in a ponytail and he said he looked at me and just knew that was the right time. This proposal is exactly how I would describe our relationship…based on love, acceptance of who we both are and our mutual sense of humor! We got married one year later on October 6, 2012 in a loving ceremony at our church and the best reception on the water in Fairfield, CT. It was the best day of my life – great food (made by Great Performances), perfect weather, great music, man of my dreams and a room filled with everyone we love.
What I have not mentioned yet, is that I am an event planner. This meant that I am a stickler for details and my own wedding was no exception. My colors were deep blue and vibrant green to accentuate our beachside venue. At some point during the planning, I realized that I wanted patterned napkins, but couldn’t rent them, so I began the search for blue and white patterned napkins. My mom and I found them at a local Williams Sonoma and were so excited as we snagged up all the ones they had in the store (they had 12 and we needed 150) and headed to the checkout counter. There we learned that our napkins were discontinued…figures. But I had that vision in my head now and was determined to make it work. The manager gave us a printout of the stores across the country who still had some, and I hit the phone. A wonderful sales associate from their Portland, OR store offered to call all the stores, have them all sent to him and then to me. It was appropriate that these napkins, that I fought so hard to find, would mirror that of my journey to find a mate. These napkins were already something special to me.
After the wedding, we split up many of the napkins to my mother and all of my sisters, but I still had a bunch left. I put them away to use at a future dinner party. Being able to reuse these napkins made me feel like the expense of them was worth it, but while moving the napkins to another location, I got an even better idea. These napkins were used by everyone we love and wouldn’t it be great if we could use them for something more than wiping faces...how about a quilt that would mean our family and friends would be surrounding us every time we used it?
I was referred to Ruthe Ploskunyak, who had been quilting for years. In our first meeting, she explained that back in the day, when many could not read or write, the patterns and pictures made on a quilt told the story of that family. Imagine a quilt that would describe us and our great day. I showed her the napkins and we picked an accent green and she started working her magic. We reviewed file after file of patterns until we settled on a star pattern using the napkins with embroidery inside of each star of significant Sal and Leslie things. When you are asked to stop and represent yourself and your husband as a couple, it is harder than you think. It was a great process for both Sal and I but the result is even more magnificent than I had expected. It tells our story with our napkins and now is on our bed. I look at this quilt every night as I get in bed, and I can’t think of a better way to represent us. It proves that details are important. Picking the right napkin can be just as important as picking the right man. We will be married for three years this October 6th.