Saturday, January 01, 2011
First day of a new calendar year. It's about minus fifteen, snowing very lightly, and quiet. Our (Miss Boots and I) big endeavour for this day has been the completion of the first block of an ambitious new quilt project called "A Grateful Heart Sampler". The purpose of each quilt block is to symbolize something important for which we are grateful, and the patterns come from the Winter 2009/10 edition of McCall's "America Makes Quilts" magazine.
The first block is called "Memories". The pattern author says: "memories help us look back while we live in the present. We learn from our experiences, remembering our successes and failures. Sometimes the simplest thing triggers a memory; a smell, a voice, a song, a photo, a dish, etc."
The first part of constructing any quilt block is choosing the fabrics for its components. I actually chose the fabrics for this block before Christmas. Perhaps it was the approaching holiday that spurred me to choose the four-inch "fussy cut" centre, a red fabric with tiny white snowflakes around an old-fashioned little Miss wearing a full skirt, white with snowflakes, and carrying beribboned pots of poinsettias. Reminded me of childhood Christmas concerts. One year, "J." wore a fancy dress with a flocked design on its wheer white over-skirt. (I wore a practical blue plaid wool jumper.) "J." also wore white leotards and black patent leather shoes. (I wore beige leotards and sensible winter "rubbers" as dress shoes weren't appropriate in snow.) Naturally, "J." pointed out each of my shortcomings. She was actually quite cruel compared to other Sunday School age peers. However, "J.'s" taunts and my beige leotards could not diminish the joys of the annual Christmas concert!
There was music ... oh such music! Everyone practised and practised for weeks. I sang solo for the first time at one of those Christmas concerts (O Little Town of Bethlehem) when I was 4 or 5. It was a magical moment when I realized everyone was listening to me! There was drama, right from the simple lisped, and usually coaxed and coached, lines by "L.'s" preschoolers and up to complex multi-act skits by young adults. I wrote and directed the Christmas concert skit when I was 13. It was about an extra Magi who never managed to get his act together in time to arrive at Bethlehem with the other Magi, and went over well with actors and audience alike. There were also treats for every child, a brown paper bag with a Mandarin orange and a variety of nuts and hard candies. Being a lifelong chocoholic, I didn't care much for the candies, but the nuts and oranges were a great treat! One must remember that our one and only small-town grocery store only carried oranges and nuts briefly in season, not like today's supermarkets.
That one little fabric square certainly launched an avalanche of memories ... good, bad, funny, disappointing, triumphant, bitter ... each recollection stitched into the person I am today. I chose another red fabric (with musical notes) and a blue fabric (with tiny cupcakes and sandwiches and pizza slices) to compliment my old-fashioned Christmas little Miss, as memories of special occasions throughout my life invariably include both music and food.
When I sorted through fabrics for one more something to complete this block, I envisioned something very plain and neutral, perhaps a subtle white-on-white print. However, I found a blue-on-white print that reminded me of the Corelle dishes that Joe and I bought our first Christmas together and then added to over the years as we raised our family. Stood to reason that childhood memories be bridged to my present with symbols of my young adult years and my own offspring.
The completed block is, I think, quite attractive. With two blues, it has a rather wintery look, particularly from a distance. The only "rule" I've set out for myself for this project is one blue something per block. How like me, eh? Make a rule and promptly break it! Just call me rebel. My Dad used to say "begin your year how you plan to spend the rest of it". Does that mean I'm going to be rebellious all 2011? Or just a sentimental quilter?
WE WILL NOW PAUSE THIS POST ABOUT QUILTING TO ATTEND TO A FASHION DISASTER!
My friend's young daughter, "Little Madam C." came to visit this past weekend. At one point, I suggested she play with the doll she had left at my place while I got some Saturday chores done. This suggestion was met with hand on hip and eye rolling and "I don't really play with dolls anymore cuz I'm like in grade one now!" Eventually, she got so bored that she went and fetched the doll. Much to her horror, she discovered "Patty Maty" was "totally dressed inappropriately for this weather!" (I don't think I knew what the word "inappropriately" meant back in grade one.)
Patty Maty is still wearing her Easter dress! Tiger "L." is more APPROPRIATELY dressed for winter in his black turtleneck and black leather jacket.
|"REALLY! Even my baby brother doesn't wear a diaper any more!"|
|Practical but pretty lingerie cuz "every girl should have pretty lingeries!"|
|Notice the top-stitching ... we're paying attention to those quality details!|
|Patty Maty all dressed appropriately and ready for a ride to school in Tiger "L's" truck!|
|The "chillaxing" teeshirt|
|Chillaxing pants pinned on flannelette.|
Notice how the arrow is lined up nice and straight to the selvage edge of the fabric!
|Patty Maty in her apron, perched on the bread machine while we baked cookies.|
|Hey! There were a couple of cars parked there last Friday!|