Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Tools of the trade...

mundane or not, they sure come in handy. Hey, I have posted pictures of irons, and chairs, and lately, we have seen a bunch of fun pincushions- still need to get mine up. Sarah had a post about her love of empty spools. I like empty spools, too, and I have a hard time tossing them- the babies always like rolling them around, and Jak even made his aunty a necklace, one year. But I really, really like full spools- cones are even better. Isn't that a wonderful autumnal tribute? Variegated shades of yellow, gold and brown. I don't usually use Guttermann quilting thread- I seem to have a lot of YLI and Signature, but I have found that they work very nicely in my machine. A bit of a touchy subject for long armers. Threads- what a headache they can be if they aren't happy with your machine. The Guttermann seems a finer thread, but holds up well, and I couldn't resist this warm color.

And before anyone asks... The quilt that the thread is sitting on is a long, long story. Do you have a minute? OK, maybe a little more. I could tell you about it. Hmmm.... where to start. Sarah, stop jumping the gun, I'll get to it. Maybe I should start with that "little" shirt class I took, Monday night. Two other ladies came into the class- a mother and daughter. They had these lovely tropical fabrics with them to make their shirts. As the class progressed, it was revealed that the fabrics had been cut from their son/brother's shirts- he had passed away two weeks ago from an aneurysm. whoa. Do I need to say how distracted I was during the remainder of the class? I just couldn't help it. My dad says I'm "sensitive." But I watched them cutting and folding and ironing. I listened to them talk about their son/brother- how he loved Key West and what a great artist and musician he was- I quilted a quilt for him, it turns out... No crying or even a misty eye- like they were talking about their shopping list- things to do before the memorial service...Finally, I just had to say something- "You guys are so strong! How are you doing this?" "Oh, no," they say, "This is good. You could do this." Everyone in the class agreed, all nodding their heads- this was a good thing. "No. I know for a fact, I could not."

Which brings me to that quilt up there. Sarah and I bought those fabrics to make a baby quilt for my son, Abel. That was not an easy sentence to type. Those of you with children know how a mother's heart wraps around a child. Well, I have to say that my heart wrapped around and over and under and through Abel. I don't know why, but that's how it is. Abel's middle name is Lazarus, so those of you that know your Bible stories know the end of this one. And that's all I'm gonna say on that. But... A mourning quilt sounded like a good idea and since I had all of these fabrics... and I thought it would help. Too much thinking? Yeah, well, that's what I do- it's an inherited trait and I'm stuck with it. So a few months later I start on this quilt, but it would really bring me down. I think it's kind of funny that I used fossil ferns- all those water drops- I don't think there was a seam sewn without me crying over it. Which might explain the poorly executed piecing. So, since it was causing me so much pain- and really making the whole other part of my life that isn't quilting- a chore, I'd put the whole thing in a big tin and shelf it. Every September, I'd feel like, yeah, I can do this. It'll be good to have it done. But you know? you really can't rush grieving. yeah, you'd like to have it done and over with, but it doesn't work that way. It just has to run it's course- like a good case of poisoning. There's no antidote, but I personally think lot's of rest and clear liquids doesn't hurt!

I just couldn't sleep after getting home from that class. That tin was in there. And it occurred to me that... well, there are just some things you have to face and I was gonna get that quilt done by September 30. Finished the top at 2:30 am- 45 minutes before I have to get up! Put my head down on that sewing table and balled my eyes out. But that's ok. And so... here I am. I pieced the backing, this morning. The only thing in that whole quilt that wasn't ridiculously wept over! I thought of Darcie crocheting something cool from those selvages, and that helped. And I love the warm gold thread. And that's the rest of the story.

15 comments:

Hedgehog said...

Not sure what to say - just that I admire your strength.

Screen Door said...

There's no end to a mother's love.
Melanie

Sarah said...

Girlfriend - you are one of the strongest women I know. Don't sell yourself short.

Are we going to get to see a picture of Abel's quilt when it is done?

We were in a restaraunt the other day and a daddy was calling to his little girl - "Emma Claire". That is one of Naomi's twin's names. I teared up right then and there. One of the first days of school, I saw a little girl named Mary Catherine (the other twin's name) and started crying. They would have been 5 years old like Ian. I will never forget how mom called you to come over and sit with me so I would calm down and not go into labor!

I love you!

Sarah

Peni said...

There could be nothing "rediculous" about a mother's tears, sweetheart....ask me how I know?

Love you so, Mama

quiltpixie said...

we all grieve in our own way. I have a mourning quilt for my father, without tears, but lots of mournfulness in there... May your quilt bring comfort.

Melzie said...

That is absolutely beautiful. :*) You are a strong amazing woman, and that quilt watered by your tears..well I'm speechless (that never happens). Love, Melody

Peni said...

"ridiculous" ...it's hard to spell through tears:)

Darcie said...

How does one type as fast as thoughts and emotions are flooding into the mind? More like flooding the eyes.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Nines. And as long as it takes you to complete Abel's quilt...well...how are we to know? Perhaps IT IS being *completed* in a sense that we're not to understand.

It is a beautiful, beautiful quilt. And moreover...it's given you strength.

Hugs to you!

Darlene - Dazed Quilter said...

The rules for grieving we put on ourselves are ridiculous and I admire you for taking all the time that you need to get through it. Consider yourself HUGGED!

Isobel said...

As the old baker says in the commercial "Time to make the donuts." Well it is time to make the dinner and I didn't have time to read your entire article but I want Jak to know that I still have my necklace. It is hanging on my bulletin board in my computer room along with other treasured items.

DubiQuilts said...

I have save empty spools for years. When we moved I tossed all the plastic ones and kept the wooden ones. The wooden spools are from my grandmother and mother in law.

I am making blocks (just started yesterday) for a challenge. I am making 4 more blocks and planned to use them for a quilt for my mom who passed away 2 months ago. I am using shades of purple. Purple was my moms favorite color. I hate the color purple. I now have a purple fabric stash. My sister and I bought purple dressed, our husbands and sons wore purple ties to moms funeral.

Together we can do it!

Shelina said...

Nines, I am so sorry for your loss. I think the way to get through grief or any emotion is to allow yourself to actually feel it rather than pushing it aside. I haven't suffered a loss like yours, so I can't even imagine. Consider yourself hugged here too.

Tim Rice said...

My mom used to make lots of quilts and patchwork pillows. She did an excellent job and gave me appreciation for this kind of craft though I don't do it myself. Mom doesn't do much of this now because it has become too much of a strain on her eyes.

But it is still fun for me to see what people do with their quilting. Thank you.

Su Bee said...

Make no apologies or excuses to anyone for what lives in your own heart. We actually had someone ask us, "It's 2 years, and you're still upset?" for the rest of our lives, yes. You don't "GET OVER" it, you learn how to keep going. Blessings and hugs to you and yours.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

I feel for you and my thoughts are with you. Abel's quilt is truly a masterpiece, a work of love, and hopefully of comfort to you.

Hugs,
Evelyn