Monday, December 6, 2010

A Quilty Kind of Story

Early this morning I decided to work on my Layer Cake Quilt Along Blocks.  I'm a little behind (on lots of things).  This is the basket block (3rd block).  I'm trying to decide whether I prefer this:

or this:

I'm leaning toward the solid neutral - what do you think?  Also, after looking at many of the blocks submitted on the Flikr group I think I'll "round" off the handle (use the background fabric as the other HST) at the top.

The next block was block two.  I finished sewing the rows this morning.

As I was working on the blocks I thought back to a conversation I had with a wonderful neighbor last weekend.  Bev (and her husband Chris) have been family friends for as long as I can remember.  Last weekend some of Bev's family came to the Christmas Tree shop and they brought Bev along.  Bev's kids took her grandkids out to the plot to look for their family tree.  Bev immediately spotted a little Fraser inside our shop that she wanted for her own.  Deciding she had her perfect tree she decided to stay in the warmth of the shop and sip some of mom's wonderful hot apple cider.

My brother and I were busy inside working on wreaths and other holiday decorations.  Bev came over to keep us company.  After working up my nerve I decided to ask Bev if she still quilted.  As a little girl I remember going to Bev's house and seeing her large quilt frame - often decked with a beautiful quilt.  Bev told me she still quilts but she can't do the hand quilting on her frame anymore.  She sends her pieced works off to be machine quilted now.  I told her that I fondly remembered her quilt frame and how recently I had decided to try my hand at quilting.  This is when Bev told me a story I decided I must write down because it was such a wonderful insight into our families.

Bev began; one day your mother stopped over.  I had just finished my first quilt and showed it to her.  Your mom quickly exclaimed that I must show it at the county fair.  I told her no, it was my first.  Later your mom stopped by again and asked for the quilt to take to the fair.  She said she would do all the work of entering it under my name and getting it ready for the show.  So, I gave it to her.  Would you believe my first quilt won a beautiful blue ribbon at the county fair.  Plus, the women running the show told me they didn't give out purple ribbons at this show but if they did mine would have earned a purple.

Bev was so proud and so fondly remembered that time.  I couldn't help but love her story and it gave it me such a beautiful insight into the type of woman my mother is.  Now, I have always known what a good person my mother is but this story really touched me.  My mom is going through a rough patch right now and I wish I could help her out more - at this point prayers for her as she cares for her mom (in hospice) are probably the best.

To Mom: - you taught me so much and I so want to emulate your goodness and thoughtfulness.  If I can encourage just one person to show their work at a county or state fair (or other competition) that would be great because the pride I saw glowing off Bev as she recounted her story is what I wish for others who are so creative (and yet may not be confident to show off their talent).  I may take a lot of entries but I have a fairly small number of blue ribbons and know what each was for and cherish every one.  Although some do mean more than others - especially when a new skill was accomplished!

Should we be proud of our accomplishments?  I think a little pride in our work is a good thing and I hope when I'm 80+ years I'll have a lovely story to tell about a moment - not about winning a blue ribbon - but about encouraging someone else to do so.  Being there to encourage others is what I really would like this blog to be about (the state fair portion of it anyway).  Looks like my mom was doing that very thing years before I started!  Love ya, mom! xoxo

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