yes, all wrapped up, in more ways than one....
one hour and 35 minutes ago i delivered my quilt
ten minutes before the deadline
six minutes after i took that final stitch
(all i will say is that it was a wild ride to the arena!!!)
i do work best to a deadline, but as usual, took it a tad too far - anyhoo, it's done and about to be hung
the last few days have been a flurry of needle and thread, the sheen of the steel glinting against the white cloth, the rhythm of the stitch marking the minutes and the hours - this is when that special bond forms, and the cloth and i become one
thoughts drift, the mind wanders and memories abound, and these last days were spent, not just on the details of finishing, but also working on the part that has the most meaning....
this small square, tucked away at the bottom corner is the key to the whole
the sum of the parts, the raison d'etre...
the story goes like this:
one of my favourite christmas memories was the arrival of the sear's wishbook catalogue, a mainstay in rural canadian homes
a treasure trove of christmas delights, harbinger of the season to come
i remember poring over it for hours, and not just the toy section...
wrapping paper and bows
curly ribbon and pretty tags
red and green tablecloths
pretty things to inspire festive times
but the arrival of the sears wishbook wasn't just a percusor to a present-filled morning and candy-laden afternoon
it also meant my mom would begin her part-time job working at the sears catalogue office
friday nights until nine and all day saturdays
on top of her full time job at city hall
with four children to provide for, and a husband who was - well, let's just say, a dud - she knew that for us to have anything special at christmas, she herself would have to find a way to provide it
and so for many months each year she worked two jobs
i remember that i knew why she did it
and i remember being thankful for it
but i don't remember if i ever told her...
and so we come to another special memory of mine
the momentous trip to the department store to find a special present for her
(my favourite find was always a beautiful boxed gift set of her favourite "wind song" by prince matchabelli)
and so i thought i would make a special present block in this quilt, just for her,
to remind me that giving is the cornerstone of this magical time of year...
i began by dividing the square into four sections
the one below has the tiniest scraps of lace, with french knots all around the edges
bits of lace that would have been consigned to the garbage, but in the spirit of mother's resourcefulness and sense of thrift, i rescued them to create something beautiful
(yes, i most definitely had already tossed them but sometimes she sits on my shoulder chirping like jiminy cricket himself, saying "waste not, want not"...)
a needlework star
she was the first to teach to me sew, to inspire me to create, to give me the gift of curiosity, wondering always, what would happen if i tried...
four large stars in this section, one for each of us kids
and three large stars in this one
one for each of her step-children, who also call her "mom"
and a pretty embroidered silk bow because presents for your mom are always supposed to be pretty and one year the prince matchabelli perfume had a light blue powder puff in it that was the prettiest thing i had ever seen so i had to buy it and give it to her right away even though christmas wasn't for days and days...
my mother always says life is what you make of it
and she showed me that holidays, especially christmas, are what you make of them too
she always made them great
thank you mom, with love,