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Thursday, July 12, 2007

cat quilt

Last week my sister and my mom came for a visit to see the great grandkids. My sister pulled a quilt kit out of her suitcase saying she brought along a little mindless entertainment that she figured I would help her with and maybe doing this together we would rekindle my mom's interest in sewing. Mom is in her eighties and she used to sew all our clothes when we were kids. It made her nervous to sew really important things like graduation and prom dresses so in high school my sister and I took over the sewing chores at home.

I've only recently begun to do more interesting things besides sewing clothes and my sister is complimentary but seems confused a bit by some of my collage and journal quilting. I showed them a video "The Art of Quilting" that includes the Chicago School of Fusing skit and that was amazing to my sister. I'm sure she'd never seen quilts like that before. As we worked on the kit I tried to show her some the things I've learned recently. Of course the kit directions weren't really well written and we had to wing it at times. She said she never would have finished it without my help. We cut one assembled section wrong and had to sew it back together and recut it!

Anyway, I showed her how to free motion quilt and we did samples so she could choose which batting out of my stock she wanted. At first she said yes on the first one and then I did another sample and she realized that was more what she envisioned ... just a matter of no experience on her part and no expectation of there being real differences in something as simple as the batting.

At the end of the week, she had a nice wall hanging for Christmas and had actually done some FMQ around some of the printed illustrations in the blocks of the quilt - kitty cats - and had learned a lot about piecing and quilting. Not that she had a expert as a teacher, of course.

My mom on the other hand was not really interested in the sewing but she was our color designer! My sister cut the pieces and mom decided which one of the colors and prints went next and I sewed the pieced border panels. They were amazed at all the tools and professional (!) equipment I had including the spray baste - all things I have only learned about in the past year or so ....

In the end, the project that interested my mother the most (besides watching the grandkids play) was making paper beads! She wanted to make them real tiny and real tight. She rolled quite a few and I showed her how you can use any paper and some of ads in the magazines make the best beads! Anyway, they've gone home now, all the sewing stuff is back in my workroom upstairs (mom doesn't do stairs anymore) and I'm still rolling paper beads! I've put some copper embossing on some and that is looking dynamite! So maybe I won't get caught up on reading the messages on my forums after all.

I am very surprised at myself for not taking photos of my sister and my mom as we worked on the quilt. I was so involved in the process, I didn't think to document it. Fodder for the blog now lost forever.