Sunday, March 5, 2017
My favorite things 10
Like most girls born in 1915, my mother learned to cook and sew at an early age, but she didn't really like to do either one. She sewed many a lovely dress for herself and then for my sister and me, but I never felt excitement or joy in the air, just the expected pride in accomplishment and happiness when the task was over.
I wonder whether she was excited or joyous, or just dutiful, when at age 7 or 8 she made this little quilt for a doll bed on the sewing machine.
It's not the greatest quilt in the world. It's neither quilted nor tied, so it droops and sags. The border isn't well pressed; the dark red patches have faded badly. But I love it, because it's the only quilt she ever made, and because it somehow survived to come live with me. Interestingly, Mom, who didn't like to sew, made a quilt as a little girl, while I, who have always loved to sew and now, especially, to quilt, never thought about quilts when I was just learning.
I don't know where it was during my childhood, probably in my grandparents' attic, although we kids knew and played with pretty well everything in that attic and I don't remember the quilt. Sometime after I grew up my mother gave it to me, and it's been hanging in my downstairs hallway for decades. Every time I come down the stairs to go to my studio I see it. I think of it as it must have been in 1923, all bright pink and cheerful for a little girl and her doll, and it makes me smile.