April 25, 2024

PATCHWORK

EXPERIENCES ARE THE MAGIC & THE FABRIC OF OUR LIVES

A ‘BACK IN THE DAY’ DEBUT PIECE

By C.C. Edwards

It seems like only yesterday that I was dropping Mom off at her regular quilting bee meeting. I remember there was extra excitement in the air, as today they would begin stitching the backing onto the patchwork squares. Six little ladies were already there, clucking like little hens as they greeted my mom.

Now, looking at the finished product on my bed, I recall memories from some of the fabric scraps that have become a permanent part of this gift from my mom.

This piece with the blue and purple stripes was left over from a dress that my mom and Aunt Bessie (my mom’s sister) made for my Grandma.

I remember Grandma standing with outstretched arms while Aunt Bessie pulled the tape measure around her waist, enlarging the pattern just a little bit. Grandma was short and stout (but do not use the word “fat”). She also insisted that the hem not be just below the knee, but nearer to the ankle bone. Finally, the dress was ready to wear and became her “Sunday Best”.

This little piece with the purple daisies and red flowers was part of a chicken feed sack that I had used to make a blouse to wear to school. I loved to sew when I was in high school and I loved to wear different outfits as often as possible. The easiest way for me to do that was to make something myself., as wardrobe funds were limited.

Here’s a little piece with a. pink teapot on a black background.

My mom used to sew also and she had made what we used to call a sheath dress out of this material, to wear to an important dinner meeting with my dad. She looked so pretty in that dress.

This gray fabric with leaves was a scrap from my Mom’s square-dancing dress– big full skirt trimmed with silver rim-rac that twirled around her when she and my dad attended their monthly Saturday night square dance in a neighbor’s barn.

Sometimes my dad would join the music makers on his steel guitar or harmonica. Sometimes my brothers and I would join them, sitting on bales of hay in the loft and feeling bored. (can we go now?)

What comfort these little pieces of fabric bring to me now, I think, as I crawl under the covers.

Good night, Mom, and thank you.