Recognize this picture? It’s of the patchwork quilt my mother made me when I was very young. I blogged about it a while back, talking about how much I loved it, how old it was getting and the remarkable coincidence that Jo’s family tartan appears in it. At the time I blogged about it I thought that, no matter how much I loved it, it was time to throw it away. I was wrong. Since then I have actually started taking the quilt apart, stitch by stitch to save it and turn it into something else. Since the passing of my mother, especially, it has been made clear to me that I definitely made the right decision.
I also wrote a poem about this quilt entitled (creatively enough) Patchwork Quilt. Patchwork quilt has just been accepted for inclusion in the summer issue of Westward Quarterly.
Like I mentioned in my ‘Branding‘ post, I am all about writing, gaming and crafting. My interest in each of these things waxes and wanes, but it never completely vanishes. I bet you know what I’m talking about. I’ll bet you’ve noticed it in your own hobbies and interests 🙂
I think my hobbies fall into two distinct categories, gaming and crafting.
When it comes to games I prefer RPG & story-based games. I don’t like first person shooters, and really, my favourites are the ones that don’t require me to have uber reflexes, hand/eye co-ordination or remember five million control combinations. Up until quite recently I was a pretty serious World of Warcraft addict, but I’m um, ‘in recovery’ for that now. I’m currently only raiding one day a week (a couple hours) and plan to drop even that when the new expansion comes out. It’s the people, not the game, that I play WoW for now. Nowadays I’m enjoying games that actually have endings, like Dragon Age: Origins (I’m on my second playthrough at the time of this writing). Sadly, I’m also still playing Sims 3 — whenever my tolerance for the never-freaking-ending bugs is high.
When it comes to crafting, I enjoy crocheting, quilting, cross stitching, fabric painting… Um, I think that’s it, these days. Like I say, it’s cyclical. Right now I’m crocheting a baby blanket for a friend, and once that’s done I have a mystery quilt to finish designing and sew, a picture of a loon I’m cross stitching for another friend, a quilt to “restore”, and did I mention my sister is expecting? She’ll need a baby blanket…
It never ends LOL But I love it.
I also love taking pictures. Don’t ask me any technical questions about focal length or anything like that because I won’t know. I know how to make my camera do what I want it to do, and when I need to, I know how to look up tutorials on the interwebz to learn new things, but I never retain the technical knowledge, just the practical stuff. All the pictures you see on this blog are by me (except in very, very rare instances when I note otherwise) and I think some of ’em are pretty good. I’m not shooting a lot right now, because most of my “spare time” and energy is being spent on crocheting at the moment, but eventually the tide will change and I’ll be all about photography.
How about you? What are your hobbies?
Do you know any awesome new games I ought to try out? I’m hungry for something new LOL We have an Xbox 360, Wii and PCs. To say I’m open to suggestions would be an understatement.
Have any fantastic craft projects you’ve finished that you’d like to show off? Link me, I’d love to pop by and admire your work.
This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter H. Please pop by tomorrow when I’ll be talking about Inspiration. I think. That’s the plan anyway 😉
Yesterday I blogged about my quilt, the one my mother made me when I was teeny tiny. By the time I’d finished that blog entry I had pretty much talked myself out of getting rid of the quilt but if I hadn’t the response I’ve received on my website, Livejournal and privately would have changed my mind.
To everyone who commented or contacted me anywhere, thank you. Really. You’re awesome.
I want you to know that I’ve got a new plan for dealing with the quilt. I’m going to cut the ties out and take the backing and batting out. I’ll applique something (I have a few ideas 😉 ) over the big holes in the top and then re-quilt it.
To everyone who asked, yes, I am a quilter too, and I’m not bad (you can see some of my work here). When I said I lacked the skill to fix it, it was because, for some reason I was completely focused on fixing the quilt as a whole. Once I realised I could get rid of the back and batting and simply “patch” (haha) the top it became clear this is a job I could handle.
And who knows, maybe next time it needs fixing my daughter will take care of it adding her own personal touch to it, and then maybe my grandchildren…
Yeah, I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, but I think the point I wanted to share is that the quilt is safe. Thank you SO MUCH for caring. Truly. I will update this blog with progress as I make it, but there are a few projects ahead of this one on my crafty to-do list so it could be quite some time.
O_o I got up to answer the phone and when I came back my cat (Absinthe) had typed that. Since it was on topic I decided to leave it. In case you’re viewing this somewhere the formatting is weird, that says sew… more or less.
That’s Eowyn. You’ve met her before, but this story isn’t about her, she just happened to be on the bed and unwilling to move when I took the picture about the real star of this tale:
My mother sewed it for me when I was little. I’m not sure exactly how young I was, but I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have it, so I’m going with very young. It’s king-sized and she sewed it out of squares of fabric she’d cut out of clothes (I assume it’s clothes people had grown out of).
When you consider that I was born in 1976 and I’ve had this as long as I can remember, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to hear a lot of that fabric is polyester. There’s some cotton, some denim and even some fabric I’m not sure what it is, but there’s a whole lot of polyester.
The backing was a flannel sheet, and there was loads of stuffing. My mom hand-tied that beast meaning that at every point where the squares meet she pulled wool through and tied it to bind all the layers together.
My quilt is freaking heavy. It’s even heavier when you’re a kid, but I loved it then as I love it now. I would drag that thing across the lawn to lay it out for a picnic or drape it over chairs or tables to make the most secure fort you can imagine. When I’d have nightmares I would duck beneath it, growing sweatier by the moment but also safe, secure beneath its weight.
When we moved to the country you might think I’d be smart enough to leave it indoors, but you’d be wrong. That quilt has been through fields and corrals, it has hosted tea parties and listened to whispered teenage secrets.
I know it like no other object in my life. I’ve spent countless insomnia-filled nights counting the squares, playing with the wool ties or looking for a pattern in amongst the chaos. I know the texture of each block and I have favourites among them.
Sadly though, the quilt has seen better days.
It’s worn and strained. The backing sheet is threadbare beyond words, stained and tired. Polyester being nearly immortal those squares are fine up top, but the rest are giving up the fight. The batting is also a mess, spread bare in some places and clumped up in others. There are holes big enough to stick my fist (or my foot) through.
The quilt has spent the last four years or so in my closet, waiting while I tried to figure out what to do with it, how to restore it, how to save it. Recently I was forced to admit that really, its time had come. There might be a way to painstakingly pull out all the damaged parts and add new ones in, but that is beyond my skill or the time I have to offer to it. I could applique stuff on over the big holes and put a new back on it, but… well, it wouldn’t be the same.
So I’m saying goodbye to my quilt. I pulled it out, I put it on my bed and we’ve been using it, sort of a ‘last hurrah’.
Then an interesting thing happened.
Jo was trying to get some work done and Danica and I were baking together and being a bit noisy so he took his books into the bedroom. He’d been in there for a while when suddenly he popped his head around the corner into the kitchen and said, “Hey, Rhonda, did you know that my tartan is all over that quilt?”
Sure enough, the plaid blocks all over my quilt, the one my mom made for me over 30 years ago, is Jo’s family’s tartan.
Just one more reason my quilt rocks.
…maybe I should try to find time to save it after all.