Saturday, January 11, 2014

To sew or not to sew...

I am struggling with a bout of melancholia...

First, as for the Star Quilt, my Lakota family did not receive it in time to give away at the funeral. The wake started at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and went through the night, with the service held the next day. The quilt arrived at the post office box at 9:05 a.m. Thursday, but my creation was not retrieved nor was it missed. Here is a picture of the casket, with the other, much more beautiful quilts decorating the hall:

A disappointment, but that is not all. I have been feeling stress about how much time I spend in my sewing room. My foster daughter complains to the therapist that all I do is work. My mother was the same way, and I had the same feelings about her, but I did not have the guts to complain about it. I just developed solitary habits, and went to my friends' houses. As an at-risk kid in foster care, with friends who we perceive to be largely "on the margins", B. does not have that luxury. We do not have that luxury.

If I had the choice, would I have had my mother be less of an artist and more of a mom? I don't know. The question causes sharp pain. I felt our home was a cold place growing up, but I am grateful for the richness of what we can share as adults...

I have been going through a bag full of woolens I scored from my mom's attic back in October to participate in Carli Heinrich's Crazy Quilt Sew-Along 2014. Here is my first block (I plan to do more embroidery:

The black-watch-plaid skirt I sampled in the corner is the uniform I wore to the Columbus School for Girls, through 12th grade. The white plaid in the upper right-hand corner comes from a ruffled shirt my mother sewed for herself from Viyella. The plaid in the middle and the two grays were the ends of legs the tailors removed when hemming my father's dress slacks (he was rather short). The colors and patterns, the smell and the scratchiness all brought me back to the 70s, when woolen plaids were in style, and wool rugs decked our floors.
(Even the drape of the lace echoes my mother's clothesline. She is 76 years old and has never owned a dryer!)

You can see I am deep in a state of longing for simpler, happier times. Or maybe those times were not that much simpler or happier; I just knew who my family was (and what I was supposed to do). My husband says, just wait it out; your mood will change. My dad would say, if he were still here to say it, "Sorry you're just feeling sew-sew." Oh, what a cut-up he was.


  1. It is looking good. I will probably post my unembellished block on Monday. Then need to get to stitching on it.

  2. I like your wool block. I have a bag of silky type scraps that I was given, and am hoping i'll find some useful pieces in there.

  3. Touching Greta, great start, this looks like Winter.

  4. Sorry you're feeling sew-sew. Your block is very cozy.

  5. All of the star quilts are amazing!

    1. I agree. I did find it interesting that I used the same colors as the ones in the back. Wintry colors, I suppose.