Monday, May 25, 2015


My mom and Mark came for a visit over the weekend.

Those are two grandboys and a bunch of quilts skulking around her.  This is not an unusual sight- particularly the quilts. 

In my family, if you get married or have a baby nobody tunes up a brass band or bakes you 1,000 casseroles or performs some ancient blessing.  My grandma, aunts, and mother will, however, attempt to smother you in warm, quilted love.

The three quilts on the left were made by Mom; the three on the right by Aunt Kay.

Those quilts up there are only the baby quilts our children received in thanks for being born.  After Derek and I got married, we received four quilts over the space of around two years, because quilts take time and between my cousins and sisters and I there are eight of us who need a quilt commemorating every major milestone.  And those wedding quilts are no joke:  Big enough to cover a queen-sized bed, in an assortment of color palettes and designs.  At one point Derek wondered aloud if all these quilts were an attempt to pad the walls.  This was not an unreasonable query.

And not to worry:  The men in the family aren't left out of the quilting venture; they're frequently drafted into service building quilt ladders.  I know this because there's one beside me right now, holding all my wedding quilts.  These men are also excellent at not touching the quilts at quilt fairs (touching of the quilts being strictly forbidden at such 'dos- but you knew that) and waiting outside the fabric shop not judging how long it's taking nor how many dollars are flying out of the women folks' hands.  They know that this is all in the name of art and heirlooms, or were perhaps ever so gently made to understand the first time they were foolish enough to challenge their resident quilter.

Never fear, Quilters!   I only opened those blinds all the way for the purposes of this photo; I don't want sunlight fading those colors any sooner than necessary.

I worry, at times, about my lack of quilting ambition.  I come from a robust line of quilters, and am perfectly proficient with needle and thread and sewing machine.  Shouldn't I be doing piecework in my sleep?  Feel the overwhelming urge to peruse quilting patterns when someone announces they're expecting?  Suffer guilt when buying a *gasp* STORE-BOUGHT BLANKET?  

The aforementioned robust line of quilters- at least, the two on the far left; that's a great-grandma and her sister.

Then I remember my fabric hoard (it's just so pretty); The Incident, aka that one time I found Adelaide attempting to use my rotary cutter for a craft project and I went the teeniest tiniest bit Mommy Dearest not because I was worried for her safety but because it was my rotary cutter; plus my mom didn't start quilting in earnest until my sisters and I were old enough to leave her in peace for thirty consecutive minutes.  My time may yet come.

Until then, I'm just going to enjoy the fruits of my mom, my aunts, and my grandma's labors, draped so lovingly around our house and its inhabitants- after all, this is Iowa.  It's cold up here.

Speaking of which, Mom?  I'm pretty sure I never got a quilt for moving to Iowa.  A small oversight, I'm assuming...?

1 comment:

  1. I love the photo of the robust line of quilters. Those are the original Pioneer Quilting Ladies.

    You are right to guard your rotary cutter. My special sewing scissors are missing. This is wrong.

    Those quilts are amazing! I'll bet your neighbors were jealous when you put them outside for these photos. Or maybe you had them outside to air out after a long winter. Either way, it's like a free art show for the neighbors.


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