It's Mother's Day this weekend and I've been thinking about how much my mother taught me about fabric and sewing. She made most of our clothes and was game to takle any sewing project, from curtains to coats, bean bag chairs to bedspreads, pajamas to purses. I remember her even making a couple neckties for my father just to see if she could do it! She taught me to sew by hand and machine from a very young age.
The first three quilts I made were entirely from her fabric scraps. She would smile and shake her head as I worked away at my quilts because although she was an excellent seamstress, knitter and crocheter, she was never a quilter. She just couldn't see why I found it so interesting.
Here's a quilt I made way back in 1983. Mom had relatives coming to visit and wanted to clear out her sewing area. She had an entire lawn size garbage bag filled with scraps from years of sewing clothes for the family, and I sat with a 3 1/2 x 5 acrylic photo frame. I drew around the frame and cut each block out with a scissors. If the fabric scrap was smaller than the frame, out it went! There were enough blocks to make this queen size quilt, plus a lap quilt! It is yarn tied and has a rust colored sheet for backing. There are lots of memories in those blocks - I can tell you what garment had been made from each fabric. Dresses for Mom and Grandma, blouses for my sister and I, a dark green floral square dance dress, a peasant dress from 1969, striped shorts, plaid shirts, a little green dotted swiss dress, and many more, all made by my mother's hands.
In 1997 Mom's brother was seriously ill and had to move to a care center. She called me and asked if I would show her how to make a quilt for him. So, together we pulled out some fabric from her boxes and made this little four-patch lap quilt for him. I rotary cut the pieces and Mom sewed them together. Then I machine quilted - stitch in the ditch - and embroidered his name on the border. It is the only quilt Mom and I made together. It was really special to be able to share my love of quilting with her. She gave it back to me after my Uncle passed away and I still use it often.
This is my second Mother's Day without my Mom. It surprises me sometimes how much I miss her, but I feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful mom.