Sunday, March 22, 2009

A small vent (or- blogging while sick)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to cook a birthday dinner for both my mother and grandmother. Mom turned 60 last Sunday and Grandma turned 88 today. I seem to have picked up Chris's virus so I didn't do much eating, but everyone else seemed to enjoy the food. We had a pretty good time. It amazes me that both of these vibrant women have reached the ages they are. Neither one looks her age.

In the course of the evening I showed Mom the fabric I'm using for Christine's quilt (on hold until I feel a bit better). Mom (for the second time in a month) wanted to know why I've made all these quilts for everyone except her. I tried giving her the same answer I used last weekend, "Don't ask questions," but it didn't go over well. Now she tells me that not only do I owe her a quilt, I have to let her approve the fabric. She doesn't want it "flowery."

First off, I have not made very many quilts. I made one for Chris, Miranda, Sam, Jake, Sophie, James, Pat, and I have a finished (but not sandwiched) top for Dave's Grandma Dirikson (sp?). I also made a baby quilt for my friend Jennifer and now I'm working on one for Christine. In the grand scheme of things- that is not a whole lot of quilts. Pat had surgery last fall and I wanted to make a quilt for her to enjoy during her recovery. Grandma Dirikson is always very kind to us- and she's not getting any younger! We've never sent her presents and rarely get to Burley to visit. A quilt is my way of letting her know we appreciate her.

My mother lives close enough I can see her house. Occasionally (like last weekend) we travel to rabbit shows together. I always buy or make her something for Christmas and her birthday. She is not generous with her time or affection. Before Sam was born she babysat Chris twice. After Sam's birth (6/22/2004) she's taken Chris for a few hours here and there 3 or 4 days during the year. She has never spent time alone with Sam or Jake. I'm not saying that my mother isn't a lovely person with many admirable traits- she's just not someone who makes me feel a deep gratitude for the help and comfort she brings to me and my family throughout the year. She does let me steal frozen pigs and rabbits out of her freezer when I need them for dissection. She also lets us borrow her pickup if we need it and bring it back full of gas. If the kids want to go visit and look at rabbits, or pygmy goats, or play with the donkey she'll let them... as long as they bring an adult and don't mind if she spends the time on her computer instead of playing.

I do have plans to make a quilt for Mom. I've been collecting fabric for a couple of years now. There still isn't enough fabric for her quilt. I have no intention of letting her choose what I'm making or the pattern I'll be following. That's not how the quilt giving works in my house. I make what I want you to have. You accept it and act pleased. If someone wishes to pay me for my time and effort then they can choose their own fabrics and tell me how they'd like the quilt finished. Otherwise, smile- nod- don't ask questions.


Janet said...

In the interests of total disclosure I have to add that Amy made a quilt top that I sandwiched and quilted for Jennifer. That quilt isn't actually one that I made from start to finish.

Mrs. B. Roth said...

Hey you beautiful quilter maker (both you and the quilt can use the adjective): It's so much easier to be rational about other people's mommy issues. Mom's HATE it when you seem to like the mother-in-law better ... even if it's simply because the mother-in-law is better.

I think the trick is to BE that awesome mother/mother-in-law (that's what I'm gonna shoot for).

I saw some freaking awesome quilt patterns that used moon phases - oh, and these mathematical quilts.

Makes me really want to learn ...

happy quilting and get well soon and give mum a kiss for us

Amy said...

Next time your Mom asks that question, laugh and tell her that she wouldn't have been very flattered to get one of your early quilts, but now your getting close to a quilt she'd actually use.

Okay maybe you can't really tell your Mom that but with her you know it's true.

What kind of fabrics are you looking for for your Mom's quilt, maybe I can help?

And it's not just your Mom, last night I told Mom I was going to use the big polka dot and Olivia fabric to make her and Deb bags for San Francisco. Her's red and Deb's black however she wasn't too sure until I sent her the picture of the mystery sew along purse. Then it was okay and I should make them. All this right after telling Deb what great bags I make and that I should make a bag for Katie instead of them buying one for the trip. UGGGHHH Mothers!!!

Janet said...

Moms- gotta love 'em- cause they say so!

Brandy, go for it! Quilting is as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. I spent years researching things and looking at fabric and patterns, but I didn't truly understand what I was doing until I started sewing. Quilting is much like parenting that way. All the preparation in the world doesn't give you as much knowledge as just jumping in and doing it!

Amy, I'm looking for western/horse themed fabrics, daisies in blues/yellows/greens, anything red, anything that reminds me of the mountains and deserts (especially color- not mountain/desert scenery- tacky!). Of course- it can't be flowery! So I don't know what she'll think if I include the daisy fabrics, but I don't really care either.

Amy said...


You should go for it! I love quilting and sewing and I basically taught myself. There are great sites on the web with free patterns, instructions, tips, there are even online videos showing the techniques.

Tablerunners are a very easy thing to start with, they're small but usable. The other great thing out there now are Charm squares (precut 5"x5" squares) and Jelly Rolls (precut 2.5" x 44" strips), so you can try quilting without buying much equipment.

Janet and I both really like an online fabric store called Hancocks of Paducah because they have great deals in their sales area on great fabric. I have a link to it on my blog along with a place called Moda Bake Shop which is all projects using the precut fabrics.

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room