Thursday, July 20, 2006

I'm officially a Quilter!.... maybe??

I returned home this afternoon from SC. I think I posted before I left that I was going to scrapbook while my Mom and my Aunts quilted Lexi's quilt. Well... I arrived Tuesday afternoon and my Aunt Lucille, Louise, Alice and Mom were quilting away! I wasn't there no time before my Aunt Lucille asked me if I wanted to learn. I didn't say much and then later, she tells me to pull up a chair and she'd show me what to do. So I began. I didn't do very much. I'm very, very slow. But I did it! I can't even begin to express how grateful I am to these sweet women. They worked day and night on the quilt and when I left this afternoon, they were still going strong. I've selected some pictures to share.

They had made it about this far when I arrived. On Monday they worked until 11:30 that night! My cousin Kay told me that it was funny to watch them because the first step before beginning was having a piece of cake!

The meticulously stitched in and around each square. At this point, I was still a spectator.

This PCV frame was made by my Uncle David. They told me that in "the old days" the quilt frames that they used were made of wood and the quilt rolled up on it. At night they lifted it to the ceiling to get it out of the way. All of my aunts have quilted before. Mom said that my Grandmother used to show them how to do it but she hasn't ever made one until now. I remember visiting my Grandmother and sleeping under several quilts to keep warm in winter. The old house they lived in was made of wood and had a wood burning stove in the kitchen and the living room so the rooms were very cold at night. Being the youngest, I had the earliest bedtime so I always went to bed first. I remember running and jumping in the bed and shivering like mad for the first few minutes until the quilts and my body heat got me warm. It was then that my sisters would ALWAYS come to bed and scoot me out of my warm spot and claim it as their own. As much as I fussed about it as a child, it's a fond memory now. I loved that old house and we had so much fun visiting our Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins.

But back to the quilt, each time they finished stitching a section, they had to make sure the backing was not bunching up anywhere and attach it perfectly to the frame. Each time I took at least 10 minutes to do and each time, my Aunt Alice ended up UNDER the frame and the quilt. It was so funny!

This is the back of the quilt. You can see all the stitching and the quilt is taking shape. Yesterday in the sunlight, you could see the squares behind the backing. It was beautiful but I couldn't seem to photograph it. I wonder how many stitches this quilt will have??

I needed to leave just after lunch today if I was to see Geoff off on a business trip but before I left I stitched Geoff's square. It took me about an hour to do this one square. I love this picture. Everyone says me and Mom are beginning to look more like each other.

This is a close up of the individual stitches for each square. I never dreamed so many stitches would go into this quilt!

This is a picture we took today. It "looks" like the quilt is finished but they still have many hours of work to do. When I left today, they were on the last two rows of squares. Then they were going to design a pattern to go all around in the pink gingham. Mom is going to do the binding around the outside once she comes home. The quilt gets more beautiful every time I look at it!

Before I left, I drove down the dirt road where my Aunts live and took this picture of the property where my Grandparents house stood when I was growing up. It burned down when I was still a teenager. The only building left is a smokehouse but yet when I look at it, I can still see that old house surrounded by big oak trees with the red brick chimney. What fond memories it holds!

Part of what has made this quilt so special all along has been that it has brought so many people into and even back into our lives. I'm going to title my scrapbook pages "Making Memories" because that's exactly what this experience has been . I'm so glad that I went to SC even if I couldn't stay the entire time. I'll forever have wonderful memories of all the love and time that have gone into this quilt.

I stayed with my cousin Kay, and her husband Ronnie and son, Will. I had really lost touch with Kay even though we were so close growing up. It was great to reconnect. The first night I was there we were all up until 2:30 talking! I slept in Will's room. That was the first challenge of the week! Will has a corn snake... IN his room. Being in the "country" we had exchanged a few "snake" stories during the evening. When I went to bed that night, I knew the snake was there but figured I could do it... As I was going to bed I looked on the wall to see Will's poster of a bunch of snakes. That's when I decided that I better take an Ambien "just in case". :) Well, it all went well. I slept soundly and "made nice" with Mr. Snake. That's just another story for me to share with Lexi now.

I know this has been a long post... but this blog is really for Lexi. I use it to keep track of things while we wait and the last few days are certainly some days I do not want to forget. Even scrapbooking these memories will not enable me to share it all. And in the end, this experience has been so much for me too. I know my Mom and Aunts love me very much to do this for Lexi. I can't wait for her to meet this wonderful people in our lives. We're truly blessed!


Yvonne said...

That quilt is incredible, as is the love of the people that are involved - you are truly blessed to have them in your life.

Shannon S said...

WOW! What an amazing quilt. So wonderful to have everyone involved. You have such a great story of love in that quilt. Lexi is gonna cherish it for sure!

Wanda and Geoff said...

I do feel totally blessed. It was wonderful to watch my aunts with my mom. It's funny to see them all as sisters working on one thing... cutting up and laughing. It's priceless!