Sunday, May 28, 2017

Starting to relax.....

Now that tax season is over and I have returned from the Texas trip for Mom's funeral, I have finally had a bit of time to do some things that have been on my list for a LONG time!! 

The first of these was to do something about storing my necklaces.  For many years I have hung them on the rungs of an expandable rack and it has worked fairly well, however in recent years I have added more and more (mostly from our trips) and something else was needed.   Here is a photo of the original racks although I had already removed a bunch of the necklaces before I remembered to photograph it!!!

My original thought was to buy another rack but then had the idea to make something with wooden strips and small nails.  So, after a quick trip to Lowes to procure supplies, I headed out to the workshop to see what I could come up with. 

I decided to play a bit first and see if it would work and immediately found a problem....
.....I am not good enough at nailing to actually get the nails in straight!!!

So after some thought, I decided to pre-drill the holes and use the holes as a guide to place the nails....
It worked SO much better!!!

I measured the closet to figure out how much room I had and then measured my necklaces to determine how far apart the shelves needed to be to allow the necklaces to hang properly.

Once I had the three original shelves made I decided that I wanted to hook them all together so that I could just use two screw to attach them to the wall.  I used Gorilla Glue to attached the hanging bar and then added a wood screw from the back to further secure it.....

I only had one incident with this!!  I had a small open area where it didn't make sense to hang necklaces so decided to make it shorter and put my bracelets on it.  This meant that there was a certain configuration that these two racks needed to be in in order to fit in the closet.   Unfortunately I glue and screwed them together in the wrong configuration!!

So, another trip to buy a few more boards and I was back in business.

Back in the closet, I leveled the shelf and screwed it in place.....

I had a wonderful time adding my necklaces and bracelets.....

.....and even more fun the next morning when I picked out a necklace that I normally didn't wear because I couldn't see it easily in the old configuration!!!

I made the earring holder many years ago, using screen wire attached between two wooden lathe strips.   The smaller one on the right was my original one but I really like the larger version better!!


Okay...that is one project down for the summer!!!!  

My desire is to be able to spend this summer balancing between the things that I HAVE to do, the things that I WANT to do and the things that have been long-term residents on my "To-Do" list.   Bring it on!!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another quilter is missing from my life.....


On Friday, April 14th, while I was driving to deliver my last tax return of the season, I decided to pick up the phone and call my Mom.  She had been going downhill for the last few months and had pretty much quit answering her phone but I was hopeful that she would pick up this time.  Unfortunately she didn't answer, but the head of the facility that she lived in did answer.  He told me that they had just found her in her room and that she had passed away.  Apparently she had ordered her lunch and was sitting at her table waiting for it to be delivered.  She passed peacefully as she waited.

Now, like many Mothers and Daughters,  my Mom and I had a bumpy relationship.  She grew up during the Great Depression and vowed to have nice things in her life.  The problem arose in that her "nice things" took the form of Victorian figurines and other frilly things.  I, on the other hand, enjoyed more organic and natural forms of art.  However, one thing that we both agreed on was the art of quilting.

Mom made her first quilt when she was 11 years old.....
   It was a HEAVY 9 patch quilt made with every fabric imaginable.  I am fortunate to own it now.

When times were tough, Mom quilted for the public to help make money for she and my Dad.   There were several other quilts that she made early in her quilting journey, including this "Friendship quilt" that graced her bed.....

As a kid, I used to love to look at the signatures and ask Mom who the people were.

However, once she and Dad left the farm and moved to "the big city" (Abilene, Texas), she started working in offices and her quilting was pushed to one side.

Then, in the 1970's there was a resurgence in quilting associated with the Bicentennial Celebration, and Mom jumped in with both feet.  Her first decision was that I needed SIX quilts for my "Hope Chest".  She started with a Balloon Girl that utilized fabrics from my dresses.....

She quilted her way thru a Double Wedding ring.....
......a Grandmother's Flower Garden......
....she quilted a Bear's Paw that her mother (my Granny) had pieced......
Next was a Broken Star quilt that she had started just after she had married but had never finished.   The white fabrics had yellowed with the years and she un-pieced it and put in new white fabrics.....

Her final offering for my Hope Chest was a gorgeous "Boston Commons".....

All of her quilts were meticulously hand pieced and hand quilted and each took a year or so to make.  Because of the length of time it took to make a quilt, I never had any interest in making one!!!  However, Mom did teach me the joy of being busy with my hands and of being creative, so my creativity came in the form of Crewel Embroidery, Needlepoint and Counted Cross Stitch.  

When I did start quilting, Mom was so excited and she and I spent many happy hours looking thru books together and talking about the quilts that we would one day make.  These times are some of my fondest memories.

In the last 10 years, we made several quilts together, starting with "Mother-Daugher Flower Garden".....
 
....and continuing on with "Flower Pots".....
With each of these quilts, Mom did the applique and I did the setting and quilting.  It was a fun process to work thru them together.  Back in 2014, she was wanting something new to work on so I sent these blocks to her. 

She immediately did the applique and returned them to me and there they have sat.  It will be a fun challenge to work on this quilt "with her" again sometime soon.

So, I have said my Goodbyes to her body and her mind but my good memories of her are brought to my mind EVERY TIME I look at a quilt....what a wonderful legacy!!

Rest In Peace Mom......






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