Sunday, April 27, 2014

Unfinished Business

Sometimes we get lessons when we least expect them, and today was one of those days.

A few days ago I started to bind the Dresden Plate that mom made. It's been sitting patiently for almost a year waiting to be finished (yes, it can take me a while to work up to binding a quilt!). This one is huge but 434 inches later as I was happily looking at the finished product I realized that there was a little unfinished business to deal with - one corner was missing a flower. After practicing avoidance behaviour for years it was time to step up to the plate and try my hand at appliqué.

I remembered seeing the pieces for the blossoms all cut and stored in a little zip lock baggie somewhere, but a thorough rout of the sewing room produced nothing. Maybe I was just remembering seeing them from when mom was working on it...

Actually, I shouldn't say I found nothing. I found the box that mom had been using to store the quilt while she worked on it and there was everything in there except the blossoms - a copy of the pattern, tons of extra leaves, more sashing strips, extra fabric, and even a little spool of thread.

It was quite touching going through the box and it left me a little wistful. Mom had left notes and instructions and just seeing her handwriting again was very comforting. And it brought back great memories as well, including the fact that we had decided to change up the border (which explains all of the extra sashing); the sketch on the left is one that I had done up for her and I remember helping her lay the borders out shortly after we moved into our new home.

Still, despite all these treasures there were no blossoms cut and ready to sew. What to do?

I found the yellow that she had used for the flower centres and two pieces of the pink floral in the sashing so I ripped them out and sewed them together to create a square big enough to cut what I needed, but despite several digs through bags and boxes and shelves I could not produce any of the blue for the second layer. I finally found a close substitute and plunged head first into needle turn appliqué.

It took me a while and it's not perfect, but I think it came out quite nicely (mine is the bottom blossom); I now see why some find appliqué so addictive. This opens up a whole new world. YIKES! Can you imagine how long my TO DO list is going to be now?

Maybe it went so well because my little visitor for the day was there for moral support...

Anyway, it felt like it was meant to be and that, in some small way, mom was there guiding me through the steps. Maybe, maybe not, but it's a nice thought, and timely too; tomorrow is the anniversary of her death.

I gave the quilt a little test drive this afternoon and snuggled under it for a snooze on the sofa but now it moves to our bed for the summer. Such a long time coming....M


Anne said...

How timely to complete this beautiful quilt on the eve of the anniversary of Mom's passing.

Sweet dreams!

Susan said...

What a beautiful story and how precious to share your quilting journey with your mum. I hope you can wrap the quilt around you tomorrow and feel her warm hug. X

A Nudge said...

She was definitely nudging you on. A lovely post, lovely flower.

Arlene said...

I don't know which is more beautiful...the quilt or the story of its completion. Both are treasures. Your mother has obviously left some wonderful memories and legacies.

Pip said...

How lovely that you were able to add the finishing flowers to the quilt, and how forward thinking of your mother to make all the little notes to leave with the pattern and fabrics. You may have been bitten by the applique bug now :)