Monday, February 3, 2014

Mom's quilt

Remember the pecking order I mentioned last year and that Mom had been at the top of it? This is my second quilt (I'll show the first one in a post down the road) -- and I actually got it done in time for Mom's 65th birthday. 
Mom's quilt hanging in my office
Getting it done in time for her birthday was very important to me because I can't tell you how many times I've started a project that was intended as a gift for Mom only to never finish it--and boy, would she lord it over me and tell me about that road to Hell and how it was paved. I did finish several projects that were gifts for her, but there were also plenty that never made it out of the garbage storage bag where they ended up. It's still one of my favorite quilts. I got it back after she passed away and it was displayed in my office at work for a long time. I brought it home when the offices were repainted and had it folded on the bed in the spare bedroom, but then this happened:
Dog damage to Mom's quilt
My sister has two dogs and was babysitting a friend's dog. She had to leave town on business and didn't want to board the dogs, so she brought them to me for a couple of days. Everything was fine until I got home from work the first day and found the telltale signs on the friend's dog's MOUTH. This happened 2 years ago and I haven't done anything to repair the damage and don't know that I will. I had considered removing the border and adding a new one...I don't know; any thoughts?

Mom also did not understand my love of quilting and other crafts. She could do any of them--but she didn't enjoy them. She sewed clothes for my sister and me and herself, as well as her sister--but only because she had to. She could knit (kind of), crochet, macrame, embroider, etc., but none of it ever really satisfied her--she only learned how to do them because it was expected of her. Mom's idea of a good time was either sitting in a casino or sitting in her recliner watching ice skaters on TV. Once she said to me after showing her photos from the show in Paducah, "I don't understand the fascination with cutting up pieces of fabric and sewing them back together." I replied, "I don't understand the fascination with sitting in front of a one-armed bandit and staring at it waiting for a bunch of bars to line up, but I respect your desire to do so." She said, "Touché." After I gave her the quilt, she never spoke ill of my hobby again.

I wanted to make Mom another quilt, but she passed away before I could finish the one I started for her. No, I didn't finish that quilt; I gave the blocks to Katrina's sister and she stitched them up into a quilt that was raffled for a relief organization she and members of her community formed, so some good came out of it.

While I didn't get my love of crafting from Mom, what I did receive from her was the gift of caring for others. Growing up, we always had people staying with us while recovering from a phase or event of life. Aunt Bettye called all the people that Mom would bring into our home or to family gatherings "her strays." I took up the same cause as a young adult and while it cost me dearly with my first marriage, I am still doing it because I believe that God calls us to do whatever we can when we can. 

Today would have been Mom's 80th birthday. I can't even fathom her at 80; she's been gone for almost 13 years, but I love her and miss her very much.

Happy quilting,