Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Legacy Quilting

My daughter, Emily, swears she will never be a legacy quilter.  I smile (secretly, I scoff!) -- because I remember very well my twenty-year-old-self's own secret list of "nevers" -- children, staying at home, being larger than a size 10...and here I am, some twenty-something years later doing all those things and more that I never dreaded nor dreamed.

My own mother was not a quilter. Her idea of a four-patch was four feedsacks sewn together to make a quilt top, handily and easily tied, then thrown on a bed, the grass, the clothesline, the potato bin...Nothing artsy-fartsy about that. Utilitarian, practical, simple.

I have in my possession the one pieced quilt she did, an Iowa Star with 6 or 7 inch blocks, made of scraps and teeny, tiny wonder she didn't do another one!

She delighted in my quilting, though, even though she admitted she didn't understand it. (Cutting big pieces into little pieces and sewing them back together!?!? No way!) 

A couple of rows and a piece, so far
Before she passed away, I started to reproduce her quilt in my own Thimbleberries greens and reds and creams.  I couldn't find a pattern for it using diamonds to set it up like hers, so I had to draft my own.  I'm trying to hand piece mine, like Mom did hers, and it'll probably be years -- decades! -- before it's done and ready to pass along to Emily.

My piecing, in spite of nicely drafted templates and the flexibility of hand work, is quite imperfect.

So was Mom's, though, and it doesn't affect the beauty of the piece in any way.

The quilt is still servicable and beautiful and quaint and a piece of my Momma that I will cling to for the remainder of my days, even more so now that she is in the presence of the Lord.

In the church we often emphasize the need for "Titus 2" women -- those who teach the younger ones all the right ways of living -- and we certainly should be passing along those things to our daughters and neices and friends.
When I get "bogged down" trying to execute that admonition from Scripture, though, I turn to the love expert, John, who wrote in 1 John 1:1 -- "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched -- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life."
Much as I would like to be able to pass down ALL the wisdom of the ages to my Emily, I need only worry about what I have seen and heard and have touched....And while my quilting and my quilts are a great legacy to pass along, there's so much more.  So much more.
That loving and giving are the best things in life.  Nothing equals the comfort of a friend.  Hard work produces endorphins, a natural anti-depressant. :-)  Life is short, but what an unbelievable ride it can be!  Sometimes cake is the answer.  Just like Jeopardy, you have to ask the right questions.  "The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly." (Psalm 84:11)
And if she never quilts...? Well, there's those grandchildren she tells me she'll never have.  Like my momma before me, I just laugh.  We'll see, missy.  We'll see!!!
Mary Lou


Tracy said...

Beautiful. And wise.

farmhousequilter8 said...

Absolutely beautiful!! Do I detect that you are beginning to miss Emily going back to college in a few days??? I felt the heart strings pulling and I felt like tearing up...I wish you were my mother since mine is also gone. Never was she a quilter but a wonderul seamstress, our clothes, draperies- not curtains....drapes, Barbie doll clothes, etc. What memories you just brought back.......Love you

Mary Lou Casada said...

Thank you so much, Tracy! And Paula, it was Shirley's talking about that young man dying that got me thinking along these lines. We are a precious bunch of gals, huh? I'm so blessed to have such friends! Love y'all! :-D

Patty Sumner said...

Glad to have you back. Just got to read your blog. We have been gone this week. Just wanted to say...maybe Sam's beautiful future wife will be take your quilting legacy on for you. I would have to agree, I too, had a list of things I would never do and here I
Love ya!


Janet said...

Your Mom's Iowa star quilt is wonderful!! A very ambitious project to piece. Your blocks look fine to me.

Anne Ida said...

Your Mom's Iowa Star quilt is stunning - so bright and lovely! What a treasure to have! And your version in Thimbleberries country colours will be just as pretty, something very comfy and soothing about those colours - and it will a treasure for YOUR daughter someday!

This is a block I don't see very often, and have never attempted to piece, but I love the look of it!