Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Generations Quilt











Oh, this is a metaphor for life.

You take what you're given, you make choices, you add your own flair.

You make do.

And then you get ambitious, and you get excited, and you try.

And you try.

And you try, even though it's not working out the way you planned.

So you adapt, and you try again.

And again.

And you do everything you know to do, you call the one who was supposed to fix it, you blame, you wonder, you give up.

You sit down and cry.

And then you try again.

It's puckered, and the seams are skewed, and the points are blunted, and the blues don't match, either. But it's beautiful.

I made a quilt with 15 flyfoot blocks my grandmother (mamaw) made, and I made a 16th to match. The unbleached muslin back is coffee-stained, and the batting is nondescript.

Free-motion bubbles had thread breaking all over the place. I picked out more walking foot stitches than I care to remember. I did sit down and cry after leaving a frustrated message for the repairman who assured me no more stitches would skip.

And then I tried one last thing:  I changed back to a universal needle, and suddenly, it was okay.

Straight lines and self-binding stitched down, run through the wash to make it soft and crinkly, folded and tied for delivery, I surprised Momma at work for her birthday. And it seems words just aren't necessary.

Because my Mamaw died four years before I was born, but she sewed, like her mother, like my mother, like me. My stitches and hers now wrap her daughter, soft and warm and comforting, embodying what my Mamaw must have been. I know, because that's the way my mom is.

The way I'll be, one day.

Linking up with Sarah this week. Click here to return.

17 comments:

Bouncypoodle said...

Wow, great job Mary. A wonderful tribute to your Mamaw!

Anita said...

How beautiful! I think it's amazing that her outfit matches too! What a great piece to finish. Thanks for sharing.

Pattilou said...

Wow, this post brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat! Beauty comes with your story, your heart work and your love. Thank you so much for sharing!

Sue Daurio said...

Great quilt and beautiful post!!

Sara said...

Simply a beauty and your words are lovingly put.

greelyrita said...

Awwww! So nice! Good work, for sure!

Connie said...

Beautiful quilt with such wonderful memories stitched into it!

Barb said...

What a wonderful post!!

BunkHouseQuilts said...

Love it! What a touching story, some quilts are just born to be extra special. Thanks for sharing

Christina said...

Oh what a beautiful thing you've done! A touching story. How interesting that a universal needle solved the problem. Were they the same size or was the universal bigger? Were you using a quilting needle before? Congratulations on a beautiful finish.

Sarah Craig said...

It's a beautiful quilt and a wonderful post! Whoop whoop!

Carol said...

The smile on your moms face says it all.

Carla said...

What a wonderful way to remember your Mamaw! The quilt is simply awesome!

Cary said...

What a beautiful story!... and quilt. I like your "rules for creativity!"

FabricsNQuilts said...

Ok, so now I cry with you. What a great quilt and story. Thank you so much for sharing! Whoop Whoop!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Mary...What a wonderful post and love the picture of you and your mom. I knew your grandmother a little...what a sweet lady and gracious hostess when we were in her home. Aunt Fran

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

What a great story and what a great quilt. You and your mamaw did a wonderful job. Your mother will cherish this quilt.