Wednesday, June 5, 2013

all wrapped up...

 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...

ribbon candy
wrapping paper and bows
curly ribbon and pretty tags
fancy dishes
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,



Diane Kelsey said...

I'm so glad that you managed to meet your deadline. The stitching and ideas behind them are absolutely wonderful. I just wish that we lived nearer to each other, so that I could see it in person. Well done o another spectacular piece of work.

suziqu's thread works said...

Wow Jillayne! You are over the line - well done!
So many beautiful memories in that square devoted to your beautiful mother.
I could have been reading my own story as your words sound so much like my own!
My mother also had a little part time job the money from which she bought those special things for us kids - like Easter Eggs! Yes we have so much to thank our mothers for - the sacrifices they made out of pure love!
The quilt is looking stunning!
Hugs from here,

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh Jillayne ~ What a beautiful post in your exquisite needlework and in your lovely tribute to your mother.

Thank you for sharing ~ FlowerLady

Mosaic Magpie said...

I had no doubt you would finish your masterpiece with style and flair! What I didn't know was your post about the completion would bring a tear to my eye. What a lovely post and tribute you have written. We as mothers always want those special surprises for our children...but we don't often think of how our mothers wanted those special things for us as well. It all goes to the depths of the Love Of a Mother.
Well done, your stitching and your thoughts.

Marj Talbot said...

Wow!! What a surprise and what a lovely tribute. I read your words as the tears began to flow. Some put their memories and thoughts on paper, and you put them on fabric, stitches, linens and lace - truly exquisite. Your Mother will be very touched - a deserving lady from a terrific daughter. Love and hugs - ......

oldgreymare said...

teardrops in my coffee..damn girl, ya got me good :D

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,
beautiful memories about your mother, showing all of you, her love, in everyway possible- and now you, showing her your love for her and what she did for you!!
Beautiful squares ,with very special meaning to you,- and her!!
This quilt has so many memories sewn into it- !!
What a labor of love, dear friend!

Suztats said...

Oh, a lovely post, Jillayne. Thank you for sharing your memories, and your inspiration for creating this gorgeous cloth. Wrapped with love, indeed.

Createology said...

This is your finest masterpiece my friend. The love and thoughtfulness you have stitched into every part of this cloth quilt can never be duplicated. How lovely to honor your mother and her sacrifices she made for her children. The gift of love both given and received is priceless. You are amazing dear...

Angela Richardson said...

Hi Jillayne,
A fabulous piece with a wonderful story.
Stitching and old lace a marvellous combination. you should be very proud.
Hugs, Angela.x

Deb said...

Beautiful words, beautiful work, no doubt for a very beautiful mother. You words and stitching have moved me to remember my own 'wishbook' days.

lynn said...

jillayne i knew you could do it :)
and this finished piece is such a treasure to look at.. and with every stitch lovingly and thoughtfully placed.. its priceless.. you made my eyes tear today .. with your memories of your mother and the holidays.. the little star symbols of your family .. etc... i think as we grow older we realize what our parents have done for us.. and as you said.. did we thank them enough.. but i am sure dear jillayne that you told them many times over..
your quilt is i am sure going to be one of the hilights of the show.
now you can take a deep breath and relax.. sending big hugs your way.

Karen said...

Oh, my goodness gracious! This could not be any more beautiful or amazing. Not only are the combinations of lace and 'bits' and embroidery inspired and simply gorgeous but your words and the memories you have woven into the quilt are LOVE illustrated. I am writing this in tears and awash in my own memories. Thank you for sharing this work of art and forall the inspiration.