Limited edition quilts for family members
My sisters make gorgeous quilts. They design, cut, sew and quilt them all by themselves. And I, thinking there must be something wrong with me, tried my own brand. Soon to discover and admit, “I’m not good at this!”
I have tackled many projects in my days as young wife and mother, enjoying most of everything I tried. But making a thousand little squares (let alone a picturesque design) coming out square was beyond my understanding and ability.
All of this already acknowledged, when Cindy (daughter #1) married and left home, I thought I would do what all good mothers do, make a quilt to remind her of home. So I got all my ‘scraps’ together and cut 6 inch squares from fabric that she immediately would recognize from clothes I had made for her and her siblings. I put them all together with a soft filling and backing. My mom and sisters came one day to help me ‘tie’ it with pretty colored yarn. It turned out fine, but I took great pains to see that none of them had the chance to measure it. I knew it would not be the exact size that they would have insisted on for their work.
Cindy loved her quilt and all these years later she has it and protects it from over use. (Or maybe she stores it in a cedar chest because they don’t want to look at it!) I suffered through two more leaving-home projects until I found out son #2 wrapped a television in his and a roommate “took it with his stuff,” making not the least bit of a fuss to reclaim the gift from Mom.
That was it! Maybe not fair, but the rest of the boys didn’t receive such a gift of labor. I strongly suspect a couple of them would have been just as neglectful.
So much for quilt making until 5 years ago when my mom needed to move to the nursing home. I could see the need for a lap robe. I once again went through my stash of precious scraps. This is another notion instilled in me from Mom and sisters … never throw scraps away. Then my sister’s kids packed up their mother’s move, they found a box labeled ‘bits of string and fabric too small to use.’ Joke or not, that describes her exactly.
I had many colors and designs of double-knit pieces, the rage of several years, and that stuff wears like iron. When you got tired of a garment made from it, you had to make up an excuse to get rid of it. You couldn’t say it was worn out. So this was a good choice for the lap robe. It would get a lot of tough use in the home. When it was pieced together, it had many solid bright red blocks and I got the idea of personalizing it for Mom. I embroidered the names of her 25 grandchildren in the red spaces with white yarn. Mom was losing her eyesight, but insisted on knowing each name was there. All the nursing staff made a fuss over her robe that she laid across her lap when sitting in her chair. It surely was one of a kind throughout the home, never getting mixed up with anyone else’s things.
When Mom died 2 years later, my siblings and I went through her things, and of course, I got to keep the labor of pure love. I quickly took it, still afraid one of my expert, quilt-making sisters would measure it!
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