Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sewing a memory

A few years ago, my oldest sister, Patsy, died after having open heart surgery. I still remember the phone call and my reaction. I also remember that the day before, she and I had laughed together on the phone. We didn't always get along, but we are sisters and that's just that. She was in the process of becoming single at the time, but she started a project for her soon to be ex (STBX). She was making a quilt-as-you-go beer bandanna quilt. Some time after the funeral, her STBX asked me if I would finish it. I agreed. He wrapped up her old sewing machine in what I think he might have thought was a trash quilt and mailed that to me along with the quilt squares she had finished for the bandanna quilt. Here's a post showing the "Patsy quilt" which was sent to her grandson as a gift.
Back to the bandanna quilt. I've worked on it off and on for three years and this week, decided it was time to finish it. The blocks that Patsy quilted were all done by hand with perfectly spaced stitching. She was an amazing embroiderer and could sew like a dream. I always seem to be chasing her talent! The blocks I completed, I started out doing all by hand, but did do some work by machine. I completed the sashing and connecting the rows this week. Tonight, I was working on the last of the hand sewing on the back. Unfortunately, the back is composed of several types of muslin and is not the most beautiful work on the planet, but that's the way it goes.
Later this week, I will machine stitch the binding and then at least pin it for the hand sewing on the other side. My hands aren't as eager to do hand sewing as they used to be. The STBX apparently has some health issues right now. I wrote to my niece (his daughter) for their address so I could send the quilt to him and she said this was a really good time for him to have a boost.
Overall, I think I'm doing this for Patsy more than anything else. I've hesitated to finish it. It's like the completion of my acceptance of her death, I think. But you know what? She wanted it done and so I am doing it. I think Michael (STBX) will like it.
I will post pictures soon.
The lesson to learn is that no matter what the motivation for a project's beginning, it deserves to be completed.

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