Quilts Are the Fabric of Family

January 8, 2005 at 11:37 am (Uncategorized)

Whew! Was yesterday a day or WHAT? Glad everyone, Lump, Bump, and Savannah, are holding their own. (Hope Jasmine puts her feet up today.)

Last night, after receiving three tons of glorious news, I re-doubled my efforts to piece together the HARD quilt block. You can click through to see what a finished quilt would look like. I took a picture but its at home on my digi. I’m sure the picture sucks but I’ll post it later. I’m actually QUITE PROUD of this block. I’m in love with it.

AIMMEEEEE… is going to help with the piecing of the quilt while we are in Kansas City, you know, in between the drinking and eating and gossiping and looking at pics and running around the city. She’s also sewing a few of the blocks and is giving me tips and pointers. She’s good that way.

We’ve decided to make it with 6 X 6 blocks instead of the larger 12 X 12 I posted earlier. I told her that I wanted to make sure that any one who donated fabric would have at least one block for each fabric sent. I’m sure with the peeps who have contacted me that we will have enough fabric combined to make each quilt, which will be 48 blocks a quilt. (Which is, of course, subject to change again.)

We considered using Trashman’s fabric for the backing since its probably going to be something cool,like zebra stripes, snake skin or leopard print. Hee hee. I’m hoping it gets here before I leave. Speaking of… taking off at 10:15 on Friday!!!! (Huge inward scream and stomping of feet.)

Speaking of fabric… I told Cybele in my e-mail to her that I suspect I will have quite a bit of fabric left over and if anyone wants whats left back, tough shit. I will continue to work on quilts and then either donate them to the local NICU/PICU or send them to UNC, where Savannah is, for other transplants patients. Let’s spread the love shall we? I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!!!

Like I said before, I’ve always wanted to make a quilt and frankly, I never thought I would have the talent or patience to do it. More and more its looking to be a reality. I would like to use some of the fabric to finish a quilt with the HARD blocks and the enter it in the quilt contest at the Black Walnut Festival. This takes place about eight miles from where my parents live. My mom entered several things last year (flowers, jams, jellies etc. and won several blue ribbons… go MOM!)

You can sell the quilts if you want so if anyone wants it… they can’t have it. Oh, you know I’ll end up selling it and then donating the money. I mean, if it looks good enough to sell. The big question right now is whether I will quilt it on the machine or by hand. My mom has a quilting loom that she got from my grandmother.

I can remember watching my Ma-Maw and either my mom, or one of my aunts, or all the above, quilt on the loom. My Ma-Maw also sewed all of her quilt pieces by hand. Damn, I just got a big lump in my throat. I remember her hands, soft and wrinkled, a little knarled from arthritis, a thimble on her right ring finger as she deftly, practically without looking, pricked the material and pulled the needle through the bottom and the search of the needle point up and down, up and down until she found just the right place to pull it back up. And it went on and on, methodic and mesmerizing. I still miss her so much.

I find myself, the older I get, drawing closer to my mom and especially the “old ways.” Its funny being so “old-fashioned” about some things yet entirely NOT “old-fashioned” in others. That’s the way though, that families used to spend time together, especially when you have 14 grandchildren and a trip to the Grand Caymans is out of the budget.

We had family reunions and Sunday dinners, we ate hotdogs and hamburgers when you still used charcoal in the grill, watermelon that was chilled in a cooler of ice and my aunt’s dog would chase us all over the hillside. The older people, who were actually quite young at the time, but seemed old, sat around in lawn chairs under the shade trees and drank sweet iced tea (or beer if we were at my great-aunt’s). Everyone brought a covered dish and someone made fried chicken and asked if my Ma-Maw (or Aunt Mattie) had brought her chicken and dumplings and did so-and-so make their German Chocolate cake.

You have to understand that in my Ma-Maw’s family, the oldest grandchild was only 9 years younger than my Mom’s younger sister and the oldest great-grandchild was only a year younger than the youngest grandchild. And since my Ma-Maw had a sister and three brothers who lived here and my Pa-Paw had two of three of each around, and add in the halfs and cousins, plus the fact we’re all inter-related, and all around the same age in each family… well, that was a hell of a lot of people. Relatives came from far and wide… friends of the family even came.

Babies were passed around and kissed and pissed off from the heat. We sweated and laughed and played tag and swam in the river, and went boating and climbed mountains and got to know each other again.

Now, the biggest family reunion we have is when someone dies.

I really miss the “old” days.

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