Sunday, May 12, 2013


Another reflective time--Mother's Day always brings me back to Mom's final days. She passed away less than 2 weeks before Mother's Day 12 years ago. I remember not really wanting to celebrate but instead took my two aunts (Mom's sisters) to brunch at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs where we toasted Mom with our mimosas.

I'm the type of crafter that wants to make something for everyone I love. I spent many years making counted cross stitch items and giving them all away before I made the leap to quilting. My list (oh, there's that word again) of honorees had, and still has, a pecking order, and Mom was at the top of it. The second quilt I made was for her in honor of her 65th birthday. I can't show you a photo of it right now, but promise to soon, along with a story about it. 

And since this is about Mom, I'm sharing how I got into quilting. I'm a lover of crafting by hand and before quilting I had immersed myself in sewing, embroidery, counted cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, and fabric painting (acrylic stuff on clothing). I had always wanted to quilt and wanted my grandmother to teach me, but I waited too long for that to happen. Then Mom got cancer. While in the hospital recuperating from her surgery, I asked her if we could learn a hobby together to help her quit smoking. I mentioned several possibilities and when I said "Quilting," she said, "That might be nice..." It was New Year's Day 1993. I ran right out of the hospital straight to Joann Fabrics and picked up everything I thought we might need to quilt (by hand, of course). The book I bought told me how to make the templates and to draw around them on the wrong side of the fabric, etc., etc. I think there was a sampler quilt in the book that I thought would be great to practice on and I cut all the patchwork pieces and even threaded several needles to make it easier on Mom. I took everything back up to the hospital; she took one stitch and said, "Enh." But I was hooked. A few weeks later while sitting in the oncology clinic waiting area on Mom's birthday for her first chemo treatment, a clinic employee (I'm so sorry I can't remember her name; she moved away a long time ago) saw what I was doing and suggested I attend a guild meeting. That's where I learned about rotary cutting and machine piecing for quilts! What an epiphany...

That sampler quilt was never finished because as soon as I saw what you could do with a rotary cutter and machine piecing, I was off and running and never looked back. Mom never took another stitch. She finally quit smoking just over a year later when she had a heart attack and her doctor told her while she was still on the gurney that she had just quit, and she did. Cold turkey.

I hope you have had a wonderful Mother's Day -- the hubs and I just returned from a lovely lunch with our oldest son and his girlfriend at her home; a beautiful meal and day. I heard from all the other kids and the day is complete. No quilting this weekend, but plan to dig back into the organizing tomorrow evening after work. 
Flowers from Syd

Happy quilting!

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