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Why I love quilting

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    Why I love quilting

    I hope you will all forgive me for getting personal here, but next month would have been my mother's 88th birthday. She passed in 2003 after a three-year battle with colon cancer (get yourself screened! Colonoscopies do not hurt!). I was thinking of her the other day and the picture on the left. This was the last quilt she ever did, and it won best of show in our local county fair. As far as I know she had never entered a quilt contest before this one. Just a few months after this picture was taken, she was gone.

    Mom was left to raise four children in 1969 after my father died at the age of 39 from a massive heart attack. At the age of 37, she entered cosmetology school and opened her own beauty salon in a room in the rear of our house so she could have an income and be home when we were. After several years of standing on her feet, once we were grown she "retired" from that and went out to get a job and make more money.

    It was because of Mom that I learned to appreciate quilting. Even before I met Cheryl, I knew who Eleanor Burns was as well as Nancy Zieman, because Mom watched both of them religiously. One of my fondest memories was being able to tell Eleanor about Mom and how she would have loved meeting her. I think today Mom would have also loved watching Jenny Doan.

    The other quilt is one she made for me in 1996 for Christmas. She made one for each of us kids, and it took her all of that year as well as part of 1997 to get them all quilted (which she did by hand. All of her quilting was done by hand). When I delivered her eulogy I made the comment that when she did that it saddened me, because I knew she made them so we would have something to remember her by after she was gone. However, after I had come home when she entered the hospital for the last time, I sobbed when I saw the quilt because I was so happy to have something that she had made and had touched. I've always said that in the event of a fire, that would be the only thing I would grab.

    Cheryl and I had talked with her about going to Paducah to visit the quilt museum, and she really wanted to go, but her health kept her from being able to. This is why I love quilting and why I am supportive of Cheryl's efforts to do this. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Mom, and am glad that she made that quilt, and showed me that I could appreciate what goes into quilting and how special it can be.

    Rob

    There's nothing more directly linked to who we are than the fabric that we make.
    --Ken Burns

    #2
    Rob, what a wonderful tribute to your Mother. She must have been an amazing woman and Mother. So many of us in some way can relate to your story as it seems to be a familiar theme that someone we loved very much gave us the ability to appreciate the labor of love that goes into a quilt, and to inspired us to carry on the tradition of quilting. For me it was my Mother as well.

    Comment


      #3
      Rob, Telling us about your mother and her quilting made my day! The quilts are beautiful and I can tell stitched with love. I also had a mom who quilted and a grandmother who quilted. They were both hand quilters.

      Comment


        #4
        Beautiful quilts and the hand quilting is awesome. I too lost my mother to colon/rectal cancer, my mom passed in 1998 (also after a 3-year battle). However, she was not a quilter nor was my grandmother who passed in 2010. But my grandmother did do all sorts of other crafts and taught me how to go about figuring things out. I started quilting because some friends from work were talking about it and peaked my interest and it has never stopped. I love how you support your wife in her hobby. My husband doesn't understand the craft but he knows how much I love it and supports me that way.
        Carlie

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          #5
          My Mom died in 2011 from complications of Alzheimer's. I started quilting after she was diagnosed with it. She's with me in every stitch I sew & reminds me to have "patience". She knew I didn't have any. Quilting teaches me to have. Maybe it's my Mom. Keep on quilting, Rob. Your Mom would be proud. We are. Gina

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            #6
            My mom was one of my biggest supporters. She had dementia. On the day she passed, she wanted to see my BILs tiger quilt. I was working so hard to get it finished. I finished up the last of the borders after we'd called hospice to come back to the house, she was gone.

            Keep supporting the traditions.
            Katrina
            “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you for this, Rob. It is a reminder that people are wonderful.

              Comment


                #8
                Rob, what a beautiful testament to your mom! My mom wasn't a quilter, but she was an amazing seamstress, as was her mother. Mom sewed so many of my clothes. Every time I'm at work at J's, I think how she would have thought it was a "dream job"! I never had the desire to sew clothing, but she inspired me to try other handiwork like embroidery and crocheting. I like to think she would be happy that I found quilting.

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                • CarlieBlilie
                  CarlieBlilie commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My mother did not like any crafting, she didn't like cooking/baking either. My love of both came from my grandmother. She started teaching me embroidery and crochet when I was 8. I still have the set of crochet hooks she gave me. She did sew dresses for my sisters and me all the time. Especially Christmas and Easter. She also sewed my prom dresses. I absolutely loved them, set me apart from the others girls at school. I wore dresses most of the time to school as dress pants were not allowed until I was in my junior year, or it may have been my sophomore year. She made me a lot of pant suits too back when they were in fashion. Baking! She taught that to me as well and I love to bake.
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