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My Mom and me with the quilt she made from my Dad's shirts. My greatest treasure!
My Mom and me with the quilt she made from my Dad's shirts. My greatest treasure!
By Susan Hillard
Jan. 30, 2013 6:04 p.m.

I know what you're thinking.... that title is cheesy! And yet I did it anyway, because I can.
Sewing has been a huge part of my life. From the time I was old enough to sit up on my own, I think my Mom had a needle and thread in my hands. That went for my two older sisters too.
Saying our family was active in 4-H is an understatement. We lived and breathed for it. Mom, as all mothers in the 1960's, believed that all girls needed to know how to sew. She also made sure we knew how to walk in high heeled shoes. I remember breaking in many-a-pair cleaning house on Saturday mornings. She wanted us to be ladies.
Ladies. Well, my sisters excelled at that part of the lesson. I liked mud, trucks and farm animals a whole lot more than being a lady. But I do know how to drive 4-inch heels too!
This next sentence makes me cringe but I'm gonna say it anyway. Over the years, I've seen a drastic change in the world of textiles and sewing techniques. Yep, I think that sentence implies that I'm old and I've now graduated into the "I Remember When" sect of the population.
You can't buy fabric to make clothes anymore. I always made my daughter an Easter dress. She was born in 1989. In those years before she turned ten, floral fabric for spring dresses seem to go extinct. All to be replaced with novelty prints and quilting fabric. Sewing allowed for individuality and creativity when it came to apparel. But with the lack of selection, we were trapped in a world of Care Bears and other cartoon bordered prints for those carbon copy little girl dresses. What happened to the good ol' days?
My first quilt was the log cabin pattern. My sister helped me cut and piece it. I designed and made my own wedding dress but cutting and sewing straight lines eluded me. How crazy is that?!
All the blocks were finally finished and it was time to decide how to piece them together. My sister and I went to our parents’ house and used the living room floor as our design platform. I only wish we'd have videotaped this event. Yes, I call it an event because my Dad sat in his chair pointing and hollering where to put the pieces. We'd quickly obey his orders only to have him say "No, put it back the way it was", like we remembered! After finally pleasing him, Dad uttered words that we still laugh about. "Why would you cut up all that nice material and then spend all that time putting it back together?"
I really have no good answer to that one. I only know that I have cut up a whole lot of nice fabric since and spent countless hours putting it back together. The only reason I can think of is to create memories.
Mom gave me and my brothers and sisters one of the best gifts in the world after Dad passed away by making a quilt for each of us from his shirts. I can remember each shirt on this quilt. The one he wore to my wedding. The one he wore at my house on our last 4th of July together. And those he wore during our many family card games.
Sometimes cutting things into tiny pieces gives the biggest pleasures in life.
Until next time, find YOUR Wisdom.... Accidentally.

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